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3,996 Miami to Bahamas Cruise Reviews

Very friendly, helpful with special dietary needs, Good variety of activities. the last day they provided a tour of Miami and ride to airport. it was an interesting experience and they took care of our luggage and got us to the airport. It ... Read More
Very friendly, helpful with special dietary needs, Good variety of activities. the last day they provided a tour of Miami and ride to airport. it was an interesting experience and they took care of our luggage and got us to the airport. It was nice not to have to carry our bags around and we got in an extra activity which was tour our the art and history of Miami beach and a walking tour of Little Havana. The shore excursions were great. Nice variety A relaxing and fun vacation, staff fantastic, ship clean overall a top rate experience. Cabin was comfortable with plenty of storage and a wonderful balcony. Liked the walking deck where it was marked so you could walk a mile. There could have been more hot tubs. Also Sunday activities could have taken into consideration that some passengers may have wanted to attend mass or a church service. Overall it was wonderful and I plan to take another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
there's nothing like running away to turquoise water and ivory sand while snow and ice rains down from the heavens at home . . . but I digress. this is my first critique, but third cruise: my first was on the Carnival Tropicale on a ... Read More
there's nothing like running away to turquoise water and ivory sand while snow and ice rains down from the heavens at home . . . but I digress. this is my first critique, but third cruise: my first was on the Carnival Tropicale on a 5-day Caribbean jaunt with a beau, my second was a seven-day inside passage sailing on HAL's Ryndam with my mother. (I state this now because it does influence some of my perceptions, as you'll see below.) For this, my third, but my best girlfriend's first, we chose a last-minute, three-night sailing over a weekend to keep her time away from work to a minimum, and take advantage of USAirways' last-minute Florida sale. I'd never done Royal Caribbean, so off we went to Majesty of the Seas. EMBARKATION: a breeze. We're both veteran single girl travelers, so we had backpacks and carryons. We arrived at Miami very early (10:30 am) and tooled down to the port with a Supershuttle full of Majesty passengers (none of whom we saw for the rest of the trip!). I had done my pre-board info on line, but she had not; still, we zipped through registration (despite our desire to flirt as much as possible with our very cute and very helpful registration agent), and were on the boat by noon, if not earlier. We completely disregarded the request to not head to our stateroom until later on; we were tired of toting luggage, after all! And even though they weren't quite finished, Garfield, our wonderful steward, let us stash our gear so we could head to the Windjammer with both hands free for pina coladas. I must admit, being used to Carnival and HAL rooms, I was a bit astonished by the, er, size of the room, and we could have used more storage space. However, we learned quickly to tuck things under the beds and that, if we kept our chaos down to a minimum, it was an efficient use of square footage. (We didn't mind it being an inside cabin; it made it so much easier for mid-day naps!) Off we went to the Windjammer for drinks and lunch. A serviceable buffet was served, though not memorable; however, the pina coladas were scrumptious (and potentially deadly), and we happily went off to scout our surroundings from top to bottom. Majesty, despite its refurb, is beginning to look its age, though the crew does an admirable job of keeping things shiny and clean. Two of the six elevators in the forward part of the ship had problems throughout the cruise, and there are some unbelievably dated things on board (really, don't you think RCCL could spring for new graphics in the elevators to tell you what's on each floor? they look older than my 80's legwarmers). However, most of the worn items are more nitpicky than anything else, and besides, what do you expect for a ship that turns around 4800 passengers a week? The obligatory emergency drill went smoothly--I was impressed by how the crew neatly lined everyone up on deck, the first time I'd seen that in a drill; I'm used to the heaving masses milling about, bumping into each other with the life jackets like bobbing apples :->. The weather was warm but overcast -- we spent a lot of time dodging raindrops on the pool deck, and the retractable roof on the HAL line was greatly missed. Still, as we pulled out of Miami (waving to the locals on the breakers as we left), we knew it was far better than the windchills we'd left up north! Dinner was in the Mayfair -- we booked late, and so had main seating. Note to RCCL: get rid of those chandeliers! They look like a bad 70's craft project! Our waiter was charming, our table mates were quite cordial, and we had a great time, even if we had almost nothing in common! :-> After the impeccable cuisine of HAL, I must admit that I was less than impressed with the selections. However, everything my friend and I ordered was tasty and well-presented, except for the desserts, which were not at all special and, frankly, a disappointment -- except for one chocolate cake that I could have happily eaten non-stop the rest of the cruise. I should note that the cruise contained a goodly mix of all kinds of people -- old, young, you name it. There weren't too many children around -- just enough to make it fun, and not enough to make it really annoying. I was surprised, expecting to see more families on a weekend jaunt. After dinner, we caught the stage show -- a 'retrospective' of life as seen through the music of the 60's, 70's, and 80's. I'm pretty sure that Freddie Mercury was spinning in his grave to hear Bohemian Rhapsody edited to a two-minute Vegas production. All in all, not one to go out of your way for. We skipped the shows after that. Off to Karaoke -- a blast! And, it was 70's night, or so we were told, so the disco was just that -- and packed beyond belief. Having been up at half-past-creation to catch planes, we made an early night of it. DAY 2: Coco-Uh-oh We awoke to a painfully loud announcement (if there was a volume control in our room, we never found it) that CocoCay had been rained on for 24 hours straight and, as a result, was a big sandy mud pit. However, they had gotten clearance for us to head straight to Nassau, giving us almost 36 hours straight in port! We docked at 12:30, and headed on foot to Paradise Island, poking our heads in a few shops along the way. It's a trek, and not for the faint-hearted, but it felt good to burn off that chocolate cake . . . . we spent some time on the beach and, when the clouds started gathering, walked to Atlantis and poked around a bit before catching a cab back for dinner. (As for the braid/taxi/whatnot vendors; yes, they ask you if you need fill-in-the-blank, but a polite and friendly "no, thanks," sent them along their way. I didn't find it nearly as pushy as, say, some salespersons at the mall -- and let's face it, how can you be cranky when they keep prefacing it with, "would you two beautiful ladies . . . ") Dinner - the formal dinner - had a bit of steam taken out of it by being in Nassau early. Still, it was lovely (tho I had to satisfy my desire for lobster with the bisque). Then off to wander around to the various live acts. Steve in the Viking Crown, who we'd stumbled across earlier in the library, kept us quite entertained -- talented and a quirky but friendly style. Sadly, we are not as young as we used to be, so we headed off to bed before the midnight buffet, which looked like it was getting rained out; it poured buckets after sunset. SUNDAY: Nassau, part due . . . Another day in Nassau! And now that we knew were we were headed, off we went. A woman we saw in port the day before told us, "Nassau sucks on Sundays! Everything's closed!" And yes, not all the shops were open, but really, how many not-so-great-bargain-bejeweled-globes do you need? We sauntered out of downtown and found a free beach between the Colonial Hilton and the Quality Inn -- not as picturesque or smooth as Paradise Island, but not as crowded, either. It was a local's place, so we had a great time watching the families play in the surf, until it started to rain. :-> So off we went, in search of the Queen's Staircase. A gentleman gave us a speed lecture on the history of the staircase, the hospital, the island, the capital, the fort, the motor scooters . . . . okay, maybe not the motor scooters, but you get the idea. We trooped up the staircase and up to Fort Fincastle -- a great place for a photo op with Atlantis behind you! And then it started to rain. Again. So we headed back to the ship. Nap time. (see? inside rooms are very useful!) It was Superbowl Sunday, so the big decision was: Patriots? or prime rib? the Patriots won out. The crew gave over one big bar, the casino, AND the showroom to the broadcast -- the latter projecting it onto the stage-sized scrim -- and set up buffets with appropriate munchies (hot dogs with kraut or chili, wings, and sandwiches). It was clear in the showroom that folks were partial to one team or the other, which made for a lively evening -- MUCH more entertaining than what we'd seen on Friday night! It was ESPN's Latin American satellite feed, so we missed out on the more, um, non-traditional parts of the event. But to hear American commentators doing "football for dummies" was worth the price of admission alone, as they explained EVERYTHING, assuming the audience didn't understand the quirky nature of American football. After that excitement, we went up to the sky deck and watched the stars go by as we sailed back to Miami. DISEMBARKATION: a rude reintroduction to reality . . . . We were finishing our packing and toilette (remember, we had carryons!) when, at 7:30 am, an announcement was made that the ship was cleared for disembarkation; they then promptly called THREE different tag numbers, out of FIVE listed in our disembarkation packet. We paid no attention, because we were in no hurry: our flights didn't leave until the evening. so we sauntered down to the dining room for a leisurely sit-down breakfast . . . . and discovered a madhouse. The poor waiters couldn't keep up with the orders fast enough, and the passengers seemed terribly cranky to be fed fast and gone. We calmly had our coffee, and juice, and omelettes, and exited at 8:45 to find the line of all lines on the disembarkation deck, waiting. and waiting . . . so we made ourselves useful until 9:15 or so, when we finally decided if we didn't go stand in line, we'd be fighting off the OTHER two colors who hadn't been called. So we did, and after much herding, were finally off the boat and taxiside by 9:45. Now, there is construction going on at the port, so I can understand some confusion. But the lack of signage, to say nothing of any port employees on site to lend a hand or brain cell, made for nothing short of sheer chaos. We had thought to catch a shuttle to Bayside and decide our plan of attack there, but we couldn't find the shuttle. Couldn't find a shuttle stop. Couldn't find someone who could explain what to look for or where to go. So we decided to get a cab, instead. Not one, but TWO, cabs refused to take us, pointing us out to the nonexistent shuttle. While I understand that the fare would not be as lucrative as, say, an MIA run, I was astonished (and fully intend to write the port of Miami as soon as I finish this!). However, their obstinacy was our gain, as we gave up and caught the first rental car shuttle to the airport, where a very lovely woman at Alamo cut us a great deal on a convertible, so we spent the day tooling around SoBe with the top down before reluctantly heading home to sleet, snow, and minus wind chills. Long story short: I'd recommend the cruise for first timers, as it's a great introduction to cruising, and Nassau has something for everybody. However, I don't know that I'd recommend Miami as a port, because the departure experience was enough to fray the nerves of anyone, let alone a newbie. hope this is helpful. happy sailing! Read Less
Sail Date January 2000
We selected this cruise because it was inexpensive for a last minute deal. My husband and I went alone. Our ages are 26 and 37 so we are still relatively young. It was my first cruise and his first cruise since childhood. PRE-CRUISE: We ... Read More
We selected this cruise because it was inexpensive for a last minute deal. My husband and I went alone. Our ages are 26 and 37 so we are still relatively young. It was my first cruise and his first cruise since childhood. PRE-CRUISE: We stayed at the cheapest place we could find, Howard Johnson's, across from the port. We drove in from North FL and we were able to park our car in the garage at Howard Johnson's for the length of the cruise and a fee of only $5/day which was less than at the port. Let me say that the Howard Johnson's is not, by any means, a fine hotel. But, as I said, we decided to do this cruise only two weeks before departure so we were looking for a very inexpensive tropical vacation. Howard Johnson's is within walking distance to the port and at the time it fit our needs. EMBARKATION: We got up early, ate breakfast at the hotel and then called for the shuttle to take us to the port. We had to wait forever for it. Several people from our hotel were headed to the port also, including a group of single women who'd been out partying hard the night before and they were barely dragging out. They were on our ship so we shared some conversation with them on the way. We arrived at the port and went in. We waited in line for a while, then got to the desk and gave our credit card and documents. We were sent through a hallway and then we waited in another line for our ID cards. They didn't have our cards and we were told we'd have to go to the purser's desk when we got on the ship. We were ushered through to a huge waiting room alongside the ship. We waited for what seemed like an eternity but I think I was just really excited. FINALLY, we were able to get on the ship, around 1:30 pm. We had our picture taken and we were on our way onto the ship. The line at the purser's desk wasn't too bad and we were finished before long. Total embarkation time was a little over an hour. THE SHIP: The ship was pretty but as has been previously mentioned here, is decorated with a lot of neon. I'm also not a huge fan of orange and it seemed there was a lot of that, too. The carpets and stairwells were showing some signs of wear. Aside from that, everything seemed in decent condition, given the number of people who have sailed on her. OUR CABIN: We had a low category, inside stateroom on the Empress Deck. I enjoyed being on the Empress Deck because its central to where you get on/off. Our room was in a great location and I didn't notice much noise. We did feel a very strong vibration in the mornings as the ship pulled into and out of port. After we got onto the ship, we went straight to check out our cabin and we were very satisfied with it. It was spacious enough and we made ourselves at home. The buffets weren't ready yet and I feel asleep until the muster drill was called. We went down to the lounge where it was being held and I'm estimating it took around 40 minutes. I was a little nervous since it was my first cruise and the muster drill made me feel a little better. After the drill we went to our cabin and relaxed for a while and then we went out to watch the ship pull off. Very cool! FOOD: We ate in the dining room, late seating, for all meals except one where we ate on the Lido deck at the buffet. We were not too keen on the idea of having to have dinner every night with people we'd never met but it turned out so much better than we could've imagined. All of our tablemates were around the same age as us. We really hit it off with one couple and we hung out with them on the last night, going to clubs and bars on the ship. They were so fun and we were bummed to leave! The food was mediocre and I wasn't all that impressed with any meal I had on ship. It wasn't horrible but I've had better. I ordered steak one night, seafood newburg one night and prime rib one night. They were all decent, but not thrilling. Desserts were decent, also. There wasn't much dessert variety and we ate a lot of tiramisu. I got the fountain fun card for adults since I'm a coca-cola addict and my husband had alcohol with his meals or tea. We ordered a few really good mixed drinks but we aren't huge drinkers so we are by no means connoisseurs. The buffets were all well presented. One night, the midnight buffet had salami and similar meats and we passed that up. My husband loved the pizza from the Lido deck. PORT (we only had one): We went on the itinerary that docks in Nassau for 24 hours. We loved the idea of having time to explore the day and nightlife of the area. We didn't do any of the excursions offered by the ship because some of my friends who are more experienced cruisers said we could get the same thing for less by finding our own way. That was a HUGE mistake. We took a water taxi over to Atlantis. The cost was $6 per person for a round trip ticket on the water taxi. The only problem was that I am very proned to motion sickness. I had the patch on but the driver insisted on filling the boat past capacity and since we were some of the first people on the boat, we had to sit and wait while he went out and recruited other passengers. The boat rocked heavily up and down and I started to feel really queasy. Just when we were about to get off the boat, he returned with our fellow passengers and the boat took off. From there, things were fine but I refused to ride it on the way back and so we took a land taxi. Atlantis was gorgeous and we looked around but never could find the entrance to the aquarium. They are very careful about not letting anyone on their beach who isn't staying at Atlantis and you can only enter and exit through certain doors. We ended up gambling in their casino for an hour or so, where I won a little money! As you get off the ship, you'll have people harassing you to have your hair braided and even little children asking if they can sing you a song for a dollar. Who can say no to that? After the third song, however, my husband informed me we were going to have to say no if asked again! It was very obvious that there was a lot of poverty. We went to the straw market and we were grabbed by the arm and ushered to various tables where ladies were trying to sell their creations. I ended up buying a really neat dolphin bracelet for $14. I also got a few bottles of nail polish and a T-shirt that change color in the sun from a store in Nassau. Nassau was a neat port and when we go again in three weeks, I'm going on the ship's excursion so I can actually see the beach! EXTRAS: This was a fun cruise for the $500 we paid for both of us to go. It was a reasonable was to get away for a few days and we had a very good time. We found our own little table by a window at the casino bar that was very quiet and we could stare out and just chat and we returned to this spot several times over the course of the cruise. The cruise was very relaxing and I was so sad to leave. We are cruising on Celebrity's Mllennium in 3 weeks and I am so excited. It will be our first 7 day cruise! Read Less
Sail Date May 2002
We have been on three cruises, our first being on the RCCL's Majesty of the Seas which was in Sept of 2002, one with Costa Cruises, and the third also with RCCL on Explorer. The Majesty stands out in my mind not only because of it ... Read More
We have been on three cruises, our first being on the RCCL's Majesty of the Seas which was in Sept of 2002, one with Costa Cruises, and the third also with RCCL on Explorer. The Majesty stands out in my mind not only because of it being my first cruise ever but by the beauty of this smaller ship. It is one of Royal Caribbean's older ships but you would never know it by her appearance. She certainly lives up to her name. The ship is very clean and shiny. The staff goes out of their way to help you in every way. Each evening we were greeted by a different towel animal on our bed. Our room steward always put my husband's sunglasses on them to liven them up. We had an ocean-view cabin which was a bit tight, but most of our time in the cabin was spent only sleeping or changing. We brought a collapsible cooler that we kept water and pop in and our steward always made sure there was fresh ice in it. The meals in the dining room were outstanding, but the service could of been a little faster. We had the late seating and missed most of the after-dinner shows. The shows we did see however were outstanding. There was a comedian one of the nights that left us laughing as we left the theater. If you are a first time cruiser I highly suggest trying out RCCL's Majesty of of the Seas. I personally like the smaller ships because you don't feel like you're a small fish in a giant fish bowl. Everything is easy access and there are plenty of activities on board from gambling in the casino, to belly flop contests at the pool. And the midnight buffet is to die for with Caribbean music and dancing the night away up by pool side finished by relaxing under the Caribbean starlit sky. I will definitely cruise on the Majesty again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2002
We just returned from the three day cruise departing from Miami, stopping at Nassau, Coco Cay, and back to Miami. Honestly, I was a little nervous about this cruise. While nine out of ten reviews I read were positive, the one in ten ... Read More
We just returned from the three day cruise departing from Miami, stopping at Nassau, Coco Cay, and back to Miami. Honestly, I was a little nervous about this cruise. While nine out of ten reviews I read were positive, the one in ten negative ones were absolutely terrible. Also, out last bargain cruise (on Carnival) in the fall is not an experience I would readily repeat. We embarked really early on Friday (12:00), no lines and very helpful people at the dock. Good beginning! The cabin was tiny as was the bathroom. The closet was adequate and drawer space was limited , but it was really enough for three days worth of clothes. While the upholstery and carpets were not new, they were not stained or faded. The cabin and bath were as clean, or cleaner, as any I've stayed in. Nothing about the cabin turned me off. We didn't spend much time in there anyway. The food was plentiful and tasty. Not the latest in haute cuisine, but fresh and attractive. The coffee was actually drinkable but they only have non-dairy creamer out at the buffet. Ask for milk if you want it, no problem. There was always a fresh salad and cut fruit. The dining service was really nice both in the dining room and the buffet. We found the shows better than expected. They were charmingly presented. Last night the comedian was funny and clean! Shore excursions were well run. Definitely take a waverunner on Coco Cay! Okay, it helped that the sky was cloudless and the sea incredibly smooth and clear, but our serendipitous encounter with a pod of dolphins really enhanced a fun outing. Also, snorkel in Coco Cay. You can swim shallow or deep and the lifeguards feed the fish so they are abundant. The rental equipment was in very good condition. If you want a hammock get out there early, otherwise there were plenty of lounge chairs. Overall, the three day cruise felt more like a week's vacation. We had a great time. The price made it a phenomenal value. We would definitely do it again! Just go!!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2003
Day 1: We arrived at the terminal around noon. There were no lines for security and check-in. We were held in the "boarding area" for less than 30 minutes. We got on board and dropped our carry on luggage off. The Coconut Grove ... Read More
Day 1: We arrived at the terminal around noon. There were no lines for security and check-in. We were held in the "boarding area" for less than 30 minutes. We got on board and dropped our carry on luggage off. The Coconut Grove (casual restaurant) was open for lunch. The food was average. Nothing exciting, just buffet food. After the muster station drill at 5:00, we pulled away from port around 6:00. Ate dinner in one of the formal dinning rooms. All of the entrees were good. Attended broadway-style show in the Palace Lounge. It was very good. Day 2: Nassau, We took the Blue Lagoon-Snorkel with the sting rays. Blue Lagoon was where the movie was filmed. The island itself is beautiful, but the beauty has been cheapened by tacky pink, purple, and turquoise trash cans, benches, picnic tables etc.. The 45 minute ferry ride over was pleasant. A band played "island music" and we each received a rum punch drink. There are some other options @ Blue Lagoon. There is a dolphin encounter and a "day at the beach". Each of these packages is priced differently and must be booked on the ship. The sting ray snorkeling was OK. It was in a "fenced off" section of the bay. The water got rough as jet skis and small boats zoomed by. Everything was provided for snorkeling (mask, snorkel and life vest) You can bring your own equipment if you prefer. Others in our group took the excursion that snorkeled off a boat. We were told the water smooth and there were lots of fish. After the ferry back to Nassau, we went back to the ship to change into dry clothes and better walking shoes. We wandered around town using the "shopping guide" the cruise provided. Most of the stores on the guide were over priced. We also visited some of the liquor stores. For the most part their prices on rum and vodka were the same as the ship's store. The only bargain we spotted was the Crown Royal. We also stopped in at Senior Frogs. We each one of their signature giant drinks. They were tasty and strong! Dinner was the formal night and Captain's party. Day 3: Day at sea. Had lots of fun by the pool and hot tubs. Bought the drink of the day which includes a refillable plastic glass. The refills on the drink of the day were less than $5 ea! Another broadway-style show that evening. Also a midnight comedian..he was pretty funny. Tried out the casino, we didn't win...but others around us were. Debarkation: Cattle Call....Depending on where your cabin was you went to a particular club. Cheap cabins wait in the Palace Lounge. The ship is unloaded by the most expensive cabins first, starting around 8:00. We escaped the Palace Lounge around 10:00. Unlike the rest of the cruise, there was no entertainment during the wait. Feel free to go to breakfast before go to your waiting area. Once we were called (color of luggage tag), we were able to walk to the exit. There was some congestion. Once we were actually in the terminal, it lightened up. Our luggage was in the designated area...we breezed through customs. Lots of Taxi's waiting to take you to the airport, hotel etc... Overall this was great cruise. There were plenty of activities throughout the day, just watch the daily newsletter! Read Less
Sail Date June 2003
July 10th - It had been over 2 years in the planning. This year there were new members added to the group. Originally Renee and Tom started it in 1987 when a group was formed in Durham, NC calling themselves the "Fantome ... Read More
July 10th - It had been over 2 years in the planning. This year there were new members added to the group. Originally Renee and Tom started it in 1987 when a group was formed in Durham, NC calling themselves the "Fantome Fantasies". We sailed on the S/V Fantome out of Antigua, Harriet and I were a member of that group and was now a long to be remembered trip. At that time the group said "lets do it again in 2000". By this time, Harriet and I had moved to Tampa Fl but still herded the 2000 group and which was named by Jan and Hugh "Legacy Loonies 2000". This time we sailed on the S/V Legacy out of St Lucia on a not to be repeated itinerary going to Barbados as one of the stops. At the end of the cruise the rally call was "lets do it again in 2003". This time the group was headed up by Jan and Hugh five of the original couples from Legacy Loonies 2000. It had now grown to 20 people so there were many in the group we had not met. Thursday arrived and we closed up the house and took the cat to the vet and started our drive to Miami. Usual Florida weather was in store for us with very heavy rain around Venice where I found we had a bad low beam on the car so we had to detour to get it replaced and cost us a couple of hours from our original arrival time. We had reservations at the Hyatt. The room was spacious and very comfortable and reasonable. The 10th floor room was triangular with the longest side being a large window overlooking what we thought was the city. July 11th - Harriet was the first up to watch the sunrise, since the large window faced east and woke me to say "come look what I found!!!" The room over looked Biscayne Bay. Going to the window we were surprised to see the Legacy being moved to her berth at Terminal 12. Harriet took a roll of film to record the event. Checking out at 11 am we thought we would get a bit of lunch before the 1 pm check-in. Wrong, we could not find a fast food restaurant within 3 miles of the Port that had a parking place so at 12:30 we gave up and headed to the Port of Miami. I had good maps but now know the turn off to the Port is not well marked when approaching from the South. After we got turned around, the entrance was well marked. Dropping Harriet and the bags off at the terminal I preceded across the street to the covered long-term parking. There, a problem arose when they could not get my plastic to work. The parking attendant tried several times and at my insistence called his supervisor. In the mean while I tried Harriet' s card as the supervisor came and found that the verification machine was not plugged in. I tried to cancel the current charge but alas it went through so I started the trip with me owing Harriet for the parking fees. I was pleased when I found Harriet talking to Chris, from Boston. She and her family were members of the Legacy Loonies 2000 but were unable to join the group and had sailed the week before. When they got off, it was decided that she would spend another 3 days and sail with us to Nassau. It was to give her time away from the kids for a while. The next early arrivals were John and Virginia. They were last minute members of the group. Virginia was Hugh's daughter. It was nice that they had decided to join us. We went through the mandatory checking of our "checked" baggage and then moved up stairs where Windjammer had the check in counter set up to handle 3 customers at a time. This went smoothly and I got to finally meet Clifford Smith who I had worked with on the Legacy Loonies 2000 group and has always been a great contact to get the latest rumor either confirmed or dismissed. None of the group had arrived so Harriet took out her quilting and I wandered around the air conditioned lobby, The Durham contingency arrived in style in a stretch SUV. Seems that when the group was first formed the departure port was Ft, Lauderdale. Flights were made with that as their destination. When the port was moved to Miami, Windjammer furnished the SUV at no cost. Then others from Washington DC, and Salt Lake City joined us and when we counted noses, there were 20. A little after 4:30 PM, they said we could board. Capt Julian (Legg) was at the gangplank personally greeting the new passengers. We told him we were glad to sail with him once more. Our last time was in 1999 when he was the Captain of the M/V Amazing Grace and we all went through the adventure of Hurricane Lenny. We had made up some special tee shirts from a drawing that Capt Julian had created for the "survivors." As usual, the stewards were at the top of the gangplank with at tray of Swizzles. Cabin assignments were made and we were showed 117 our home for the next 8 days. It was almost as spacious as 217 was on our last voyage, but lacked natural light since it had a port hole rather than the window we had in 217, The room's lighting consisted of two florescence tubes mounted along the top of the wall with a clear plastic cover. A little glaring so Harriet fixed it with a couple pieces of paper to cut down on the glare. We did like it since there was a bulkhead separating us from 119, which cut down on the traffic. Swizzle time continued with the usual heavy snacks. Harriet and I had made a pact to try and not gain any weight this time so we grazed on the "healthy stuff" like fruits. Silently we pulled away from the dock headed west out to the Atlantic. There was a lot of container ship traffic that kept us all entertained until we cleared the channel and then the haunting sound of the bagpipes started playing "Amazing Grace" and we pitched in to raise the sails. And we sailed into the night. July 12, 2003 Harriet got up for the sunrise and I played the lazy bones. We had arrived in Bimini to clear customs. After the Q flag (the yellow one) was lowered and the custom official cleared the ship, it was anchors aweigh and hoist the sail once more. During the trip, Capt Julian gave us our first Storytime. The crew was introduced and a safety lecture followed. Then the lifeboat drill was conducted and we were then fully indoctrinated. After a short sail we dropped anchor at Gun Cay just north of Bimini. The launches were put in the water and the runs back and forth to the beach were started. The beach did not have much in the way of shade. Kayaks had been taken ashore and so there was much water activity in the crystal water, Most seemed to be well worn out by the day's activities, but had the energy to help hoist the sails and partake in Swizzle time. After swizzle time, 1st Mate Sam conducted a class on sailing. After a delicious dinner, a game of Trivia was played as a battle of the sexes. The men won!! I had brought astronomy tables of the visible satellites that would be viewable each evening. This became an event every evening and a fun group was formed each evening to see the Hubble Telescope and some of the Cosmos rockets. July 13th, 2003-There was a heavy but brief shower before Storytime, but no spirits were dampened. The binimi over amidships gathering area filled with water and much fun was had dumping the water on unsuspecting fellow passengers. Our reward was small but beautiful rainbow over the stern. Arriving at Egg Island, Harriet found one of the Loonies, Tom, in the widows net and took some fun pictures of him. Egg Island beach is smaller than Gun Cay and has quite a bit of exposed coral on each side of the beach which did make for good snorkeling, but rough on the feet to walk on. After the last launch returned, Swizzles were a welcome event and the Crab races were held. I was lucky and was one of three Loonies to pick the winner and walked off with $15 each. After that the launches returned to the beach for a barbecue. While dinning on the beach, the dinners were treated to a beautiful sunset. As darkness fell a huge bonfire was built which was spectacular especially when viewed from the ship. The fire was extinguished and all returned aboard and the sails were raised once more. Afterwards there was dancing on the decks. July 14th 2003-We had arrived at Nassau and were shortly joined by Disney's Wonder, a mega Foo Foo ship, and 3000 of its closest friends. Capt Julian said we were lucky that she was the only other ship calling on Nassau today. They were herded off to busses and we really did not see too many of them while plying the Straw market. Harriet did take a tumble in a pothole on the street but luckily only skinned her knee. Others from the ship did the Zoo and visited the Atlantis complex. Other went up to Fort Fincastle and back down the Queens steps. We were sorry that we did not get to say goodbye to Chris. Have talked to her since and she said it was a zoo trying to get off and get to her flight. At swizzles time, new passengers were boarded and greeted by all. The evening's entertainment was "Action - 'the Limbo King '". His act was spectacular and my shoes even got in the act used to hold up the cross bar. That was really low!!! Our next task was saying a proper good bye to the Wonder. Several mooned the departing ship.. Raising the sails we were treated to a wonderful fireworks display from the island. July 15th, 2003 Morning broke on Great Harbour Cay, The beach was much larger than Egg Island but still not too much sun cover unless you went far into the interior of the island. Lunch was served on the beach. The kayaking and snorkeling continued in the afternoon. There was even some kite sailing by one of the passengers. Returning to the ship it was time for Swizzles and the event of the evening Sea Hunt. Also Capt Julian performed a renewal of vowels on the deck over the bridge house for a couple and their kids. And then it was time for the PP&P party. Some of the passengers had stated to the Capt at Storytime that they were not going to tone down their costumes because of the Junior Jammers. They were assured that the kids would not be there. The costumes were varied and pretty imaginative. Unfortunately, some of the kids did not obey and were constantly being shooed from the party deck. This was not a good thing and the embarrassed parents were the ones who suffered their kids unruly behavior when some pointed questions were asked about some of the costumes. Harriet went as a Giraffe with the proper P's in her title. I was a paunchy pathetic pirate, Sails were raised as the party continued and we again sailed into the night. July 16th, 2003-Freeport. Felt funny since this was where our Amazing Grace journeys started and ended. Felt like this was the end of the trip. The new straw market area still has not been fully occupied since the number of cruise ships that call on Freeport have not lived up to expectations. Still it is a pretty place with a lot of shade to wait on cabs or the like. The crew found it a good place for a mini cricket match. Still do not understand the game. We took the Gracie Tour, which was not a visit to the high-end places but more the native markets. Harriet found several good native fruits to supplement her breakfast fare. The best part for us, even thought we thought we should have stayed longer was the Garden of the Groves. The Grove family was one of the more influential Americans who were instrumental in the economic growth of the Grand Bahama Island. At the completion of our tour we were treated to a not so often seen site. One of the crew was performing maintenance at the top of the foremast. Swizzles time tonight was the Wine and Cheese party. We had picked up a German wine for our offering and there were all kinds of cheeses and pate for the appetizers. Third mate Oliver (the bracelet maker) gave lessons on knot tying on the top deck before dinner. A game for foosball (soccer) broke out between the crew and some of the younger passengers to help build an appetite. After the sun went down many went topside to seen the container ship operation. Very very impressive. We also had our nightly satellite-spotting gathering. The sails were raised aging to the strains of Amazing Grace and again we sailed into the night. July 17th, 2003-The morning found us still at sea but it was announce on the ships' loudspeaker system that we would arrive at Bimini about 10AM. This being our last full day the Sea chest was holding special, and that last "have to have tee shirt" was purchased. Launches were run into Alice town. Harriet and I hopped on a launch to go to the straw market and see the local sites. There was a primitive but informative museum over an historic building Post Office with many artifacts about the life and times of Bimini and the sport fishing that it is famous for. It was time for the crew picture and the passenger pictures before the Captain's dinner. We put on our Capt Julian Hurricane Lenny shirts and surprised Captain Julian with them. We had a special picture taken with him. That was when he told us that he designed the drawing. There were more that the average number of satellites tonight but since we had to pack and get ready for the early departure in the AM, we returned to the cabin. July 18th, 2003-Miami came into sight and in a beautiful ballet with a tugboat we were rotated and placed along side the docks and the lines were made secure. The trip was over all too soon. Goodbyes were said and we headed to our car for the drive back to Tampa, BUT I had a dead battery, AAA came to the rescue and within 30 minutes we were jump started and ready to head back across Alligator Alley. We were lucky and hit no major rainstorms and got home by 4PM to pick up the cat and found the house had survived our absence. Read Less
Sail Date July 2003
3-day Bahamas Sailing Embarkation: We arrived at the pier very early! So early that we were the first passengers to arrive and passengers from the previous sailing were still collecting their luggage. We took a 6:30 AM flight from JFK to ... Read More
3-day Bahamas Sailing Embarkation: We arrived at the pier very early! So early that we were the first passengers to arrive and passengers from the previous sailing were still collecting their luggage. We took a 6:30 AM flight from JFK to MIA and landed 30 minutes early in Miami. So we tried to take our time, but still ended up at the pier a little after 10 AM. Soon after, other people began filing in. At 11 AM we were aloud to go through the security checkpoint and began the check-in process. There was no line and I had all of our documents ready and we had our sea pass card/room key in 5 minutes. We then had to wait in another line next to the escalator to board the ship until 11:30. We were on board by 11:35 after having our pictures taken and headed straight to our cabin. The Cabin: We were on the Tween Deck (6) Cabin 6074 and it was the smallest cabin we have ever been in! It was in ok shape...stains on the carpet, one of the drawers was busted in the desk / vanity. The closet was pretty big and had wire shelves to put clothes away on. But we lived out of our suitcases as it was only going to be 3 nights. The bathroom was tiny and definitely showed its age. The sink had several cracks in it and there was rust along the door. We were so early on the ship that the cabin steward was not done cleaning up the rooms and our bathroom still showed signs of the previous passengers. So we put our stuff down and headed up to the Windjammer for Lunch. The Windjammer: The lunch buffet at the Windjammer was nothing special. They had a few hot selections and a few salads along with the carving station. It was a little disappointing after being on the Radiance and having so many lunch choices. Lunch was served from 11:30 AM till 2:00 PM and then from 2PM to 5 PM they offered a "snack" selection, which consisted of Hamburgers, hot dogs, French fries, pasta, asst sandwiches, Bratwurst, and one day was tacos and another was fajitas. There was also Pizza and hot dogs available from 2PM till 3AM at the Mast Bar. The Ship: After lunch we walked around to check out the rest of the ship. We were on the Monarch last August and it is the same exact layout and even the same carpeting. Only difference was everything had a different name. The pool deck looked great and the bars were all opened trying to serve you a drink the second you got outside. There are a few outside activities such as basketball and shuffleboard. Inside, the Centrum looked great, very clean, but the brass could use a lot of polishing. A lot of the carpet looked brand new and everything was in great shape for the ships age. The show lounge was a great layout and the Schooner Bar looks like the others. The stores were full with merchandise! The only negative comments about the ship are that some of the elevators were not working and the elevators that were working were very slow. As a result, the elevator waiting areas were always mobbed with lazy people waiting to take the elevator. I say lazy because several people would get on and take it only 1 floor. I can see not walking from deck 2 to 12 but 5 to 6????? The other negative was that on decks 9, 10 & 11 in the elevator areas on both ends of the ship, it smelt like vomit. It was very strong the first day and when we were in Nassau there were professional carpet cleaners on the ship cleaning the carpet on all the decks. There were also fans on the carpet, but it still had a smell the whole weekend. Dining Room: We had early seating dinner in the Maytime Dining room. We went down to the dining room before dinner the first night to speak to the Maitre'd because my husband is severly lactose intolerant and we have had problems in the past of the ship not being able to meet his dietary needs. I had faxed a letter to RCCL 3 weeks prior to sailing explaining his dietary needs and requesting a table for 2 as it was our anniversary. We were at a table for 10 and had the Maitre'd switch it to a table for 2. I reiterated my husband's dietary needs and explained that it had been a problem on past cruises and that I would seek higher authority if he was not accommodated. He assured me it would not be a problem. The first night at dinner we met our waiter and assistant waiter. They were on the slow side as we found out the other 2 nights. We were always in the dining room promptly at 6 and it would take 15 + minutes before we would see the waiter to even get a menu and it would be almost a quarter to 7 before we would receive our appetizer. We thought that with a table for two that we would be in and out quickly. Then on the last night, our waiter actually had the nerve to tell us to give him an excellent review on our review form because he would get in trouble if it was not positive. Let me tell you, just for that comment, he got a fair rating. Otherwise, the food was ok, nothing spectacular, but a lot better then the buffet at the Windjammer! Ports of Call: Nassau - The weather was great both days and Claudette never affected us. It was in the 90's in Nassau and we pretty much stayed on the ship. We only got off in the afternoon and walked around for 30 minutes or so. It was just so hot that we headed back to the ship to the pool! We were in Nassau 2 years ago on the Century, and since then, there was a new terminal where there were little shops, the taxi drivers to take you anywhere, and a shore excursions area where you could purchase all sorts of excursions, just like the ones on the ship, just cheaper!!! Coco Cay - This is RCL's private island and it was great! We were off the ship by 9 am and the sun was already hot! It must have been close to 100. We brought our own snorkel gear, but they also made us rent a vest. So once we got the vests we were off into the water. The water was really clear and there were tons of fish and reefs! Along with some stingrays and barracudas! After snorkeling we dried off and each got a Coco loco! They were great! Then we walked around the island and checked everything else out. The water park looked like it was for little kids and the parasailing and jet skis looked awesome! There were also a few little shops to buy souvenirs and the hair braiders were there also! They also had a BBQ on the island for lunch (the Windjammer was closed as a result). There were ribs, hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob, mac & cheese, backed beans, fruit salad and a few other salads. My advice to everyone is get there as soon as they unwrap everything because there were flies everywhere and if you didn't get the food once it was unwrapped, odds are a fly landed on it first! After lunch, we headed back to the ship to enjoy the empty pool and hot tubs! Disembarkation: This was the worst part of the trip. We were done with breakfast at 7:50 AM and we sat in the elevator area of deck 5 until 9:45 when we finally cleared customs. No announcements were made as to what was taking so long and there were people everywhere. When they finally started to announce the color tags everyone ran to the exit and they had a hard time of keeping people in line and everyone was cutting. But we were off the ship by 10 with our luggage and at Miami International Airport by 10:15. Overall: This was a great cruise for a long weekend, however, I don't think I would have been happy if I was on the ship for a 7 day cruise. I found most of the staff to have an "I don't care" attitude, because they knew we would all be off in a few days and there would be a new group of people. It is a great cruise for a first time cruise who wants to get a taste of what a cruise is like. But for someone whose first cruise was on a larger vessel, they will be extremely disappointed. As for the rock climbing wall, it was not up and didn't even look like they were preparing to put it up anytime soon. The ship does need a little work, but people do need to consider how old she is compared to other ships in the RCL fleet! I give this ship: 3 out of 5 stars for appearance 2 out of 5 stars for dining 3 out of 5 stars for staff 5 out of 5 stars for value I hope this review helps any people considering this cruise and please feel free to ask me any questions! hardingk@optonline.net July 2003 Read Less
Sail Date July 2003
Let me start by saying it's time for the Fascination to be refurbished. I was on this boat 3 years ago and we had the time of our life. At that time it was a 7 day Southern Caribbean and it is now much much different. Our cabin was on ... Read More
Let me start by saying it's time for the Fascination to be refurbished. I was on this boat 3 years ago and we had the time of our life. At that time it was a 7 day Southern Caribbean and it is now much much different. Our cabin was on the Empress deck and we were upgraded which was very nice. We had 5 in a cabin but still had room to move around. This is our 7th cruise, 6th with Carnival. This one was a little disappointing because it wasn't as nice as I remembered it to be. Embarkation was very smooth. My daughter uses a walker to walk with and everyone was very helpful in getting us through the crowds as quickly as possible. I think we were on the boat in 45 minutes. We had lunch and unpacked immediately so we can enjoy the short time we had. At dinner the first night we had some problems with the wait staff. The waiter was doing double duty as the busboy was never anywhere to be found. We had dirty dishes on our table for a long time and by the time the sour cream came for the baked potato, we were done with the prime rib. I complained to the head waiter and he promised us a new busboy the next night. This did occur and our dining experience improved 100%. It was nice to see they took care of the problem immediately. Our day at port was in the Bahamas and we went to the Blue Lagoon. It was a very nice ferry ride there about 45 minutes and it is an island with hammocks and snorkeling. They do have a variety of water activities such as hydrobikes and other fun things but they were closed on this day. So really all there was to do was swim or snorkel or take a nap on the hammock. Hint: Do take the first ferry out because facilities are limited (hammocks) and if you arrive on the later ferry you will be without one. They do offer lunch for a fee and they take pictures of you throughout your time there for an additional charge. They come out really nice and are reasonable. There is however a 15 minute walk from the Cruise ship to the ferry and back. Not good for the elderly or handicapped. It is very very hot! We took a 2:00 ferry back and they entertain you with music and rum punch or fruit punch. It was fun but definitely would have been better with more activities open. This is also formal night and it was rough having to get ready. A lot of people forgo the dinner this night because the boat is still in port. We had late seating and we fed our kids earlier and went to dinner with our friends alone which was nice. Camp Carnival was fun and my daughter had fun. They had a special for children in the 9-11 group that you pay $26 and they go from 10pm to 3:30am from activity to activity. My daughter had so much fun that she ran by me at one point and couldn't even stop for a quick hello. They then deliver them to their rooms at the end of the night. After dinner we decided to go over the the Atlantis and look around. Unless you gamble big there is nothing to see. Security is tight everywhere and they don't even let you look around. The casino had such poor ventilation that our chests were killing us from the smoke. I wouldn't go back. We went back to the boat and went to the casino there much better. Our day at sea was good the deck outside wasn't too crowded which is unusual. We were able to get lounge chairs and use the pool without feeling crowded. The boat itself needs a lot of improvements and they need to clean the carpets. There were stains everywhere and I think if they took a little time to clean it up it would be in good shape again. Entertainment was very disappointing. You need to change the shows. I went of this boat 3 years ago and you're still doing the same show, boring. C'mon realize that people are repeat cruisers and do enjoy seeing different shows. We are having a family reunion on the Legend next year and look forward to a cleaner ship and new shows. Overall we had fun but we also went with a large group of 11 people. Have fun! Read Less
Sail Date August 2003
My wife and I decided to take a cruise for the very first time last August to celebrate our 10th anniversary. Having never cruised before, we spent a lot of time in researching all of the different cruise lines and of course monitoring the ... Read More
My wife and I decided to take a cruise for the very first time last August to celebrate our 10th anniversary. Having never cruised before, we spent a lot of time in researching all of the different cruise lines and of course monitoring the reviews on Cruise Critic. We decided to book a four day-three night trip to the Bahamas on RC's Majesty of the Seas. Since we'd never been before, we thought this was the perfect length to get a feel for all that cruising has to offer. Boy, were we wrong! The time went way too fast and by the time it was over we were already wishing we had gone for a week! We embarked out of Miami. I read many reviews that recommended getting to Miami the night before but we decided to catch an early flight (6:00 am) that Friday morning. No problems at all. We were in the Miami airport by 10:30 and quickly found the RC bus that transports you to the port. Because of reading this great web site, we knew that we could board the ship early so that's what we did. We arrived at the ship by 11:30 and encountered no problems at all! We took everyone's advice and completed the forms on line so that they were ready when we arrived. Check in was a breeze. After getting our boarding pics taken, we boarded and were immediately greeted by some of the outstanding staff on the Majesty. Customer service is the one thing that stood out the most on this ship. Every where we turned was a smiling face eager to accommodate our every need. We went straight to our room after enjoying the lunch buffet in the Windjammer. The food was terrific! Many choices and all very tasty. Since this was our first cruise and our anniversary, we decided to go all out and get a room with a balcony. Many of our friends who had cruised before told us we were crazy to spend so much money on a room that we would never be in. My wife and I TOTALLY disagree and would get the balcony room again in a minute! It was very spacious and clean. The balcony provided great opportunities for us to unwind and just stare out at the ocean. It also provided us a chance to view Miami and the Bahamas as we pulled in and also when we left. The food on the ship was outstanding at every meal. We had the second dinner seating(8:30)which worked well for us since there was so much to do we didn't want to be hurried at night to get ready to eat. Since it's been five months now, I don't recall every item but I will tell you that the Salmon and Prime Rib were great. Our dinners and entire trip were made so much better because of the outstanding personality and service provided by our waiter, Antonio. He is a very special person and a true asset to RC and the Majesty. His amazing smile and commitment to service totally enhanced our vacation! Our only disappointment with the cruise was the stop in Nassau. I don't really understand why anyone would want to go there. The townsfolk are very intimidating and pushy when it comes to selling their goods. We found that the jewelry and liquor prices on the Majesty were better than in Nassau. We did take a boat ride to Paradise Island which was very nice. It is a huge hotel with an awesome aquarium inside. Other than that we didn't see much need to stay in Nassau and spent the rest of the day poolside on the Majesty. Sunday was the best day by far. That's because it was spent in Coco Cay. Everything you read on Cruise Critic about Coco Cay is true. It truly feels like you have been lost on a paradise island. The ship pulls up by the island in the middle of the ocean and tenders you back and forth. On the island, we enjoyed the warm ocean, great sandy beaches, and a terrific lunch provided by RC. We recommend renting a raft and just floating around in the ocean. The time went by so fast that we had to be told that it was 5:00 and our last opportunity to head back to the ship. We thought about it for a second about staying there the rest of our lives, it was that nice! I apologize for the length of this review but we were so impressed with the entire cruise that we wanted to make sure any first time cruisers out there would gain some valuable information. We would and will use RC again, especially the Majesty! We met terrific people like Antonio and made new friends from Fort Lauderdale. We can't wait to sail again! Dave dadeib@wm.edu Read Less
Sail Date August 2003
We sailed on the Majesty of the Seas from September 16-20, 2002. We had a cat K cabin on deck 5 that we were able to upgrade from a Q cabin on deck two a month before the sailing due to a price drop. There were six of us that went and we ... Read More
We sailed on the Majesty of the Seas from September 16-20, 2002. We had a cat K cabin on deck 5 that we were able to upgrade from a Q cabin on deck two a month before the sailing due to a price drop. There were six of us that went and we stayed three to a cabin but it didn't seem very crowded and just reminded me of a college dorm room. We really only were in the cabin to change and sleep other then that we didn't spend much time in our room. We spent a couple of days before the sailing in Miami so we took a cab to the port and arrived around 12:00. Like many other cruisers I am pretty disappointed in the check-in process. Before the security checkpoint there is an area to fill out your documentation before you board but they don't require you to fill it out before you board. Consequently I watched at least a dozen groups of people filling out documentation at the check-in counter wasting my time as they spend 10-15 minutes at the check-in counter. Royal Caribbean should have people check paper work before you get in the check-in line. As a result we spend 45 minutes waiting in line just to check-in. Then to make things worse when my card was printed it was smudged and so the very polite lady at the counter printed up new cards for my wife and me. Unfortunately she didn't activate the card so when we tried to board the ship we were told to go back and stand in the problem line. After wasting another 20 minutes waiting in line to get new cards we finally boarded the ship around 2:00. I was pretty upset by this time with the speed of service from Royal Caribbean but once I boarded the ship everything changed. As we boarded the ship the staff was very pleasant and directed us to the Windjammer for a lunch. We decided to check out our cabin and find the rest of our group and to our surprise our cabin steward was the infamous Raul. What a great cabin steward. He did a first class job of keeping our cabin ready for us and the towel animals were great. After checking out our cabin we decided to eat lunch. The Windjammer is standard buffet fare. Not too bad and with four lines we only had to wait 5 minutes to get through the line. After lunch we decided to get our beverage cards. My wife purchased the unlimited soft drinks, which worked out well except in the Main dining room. She had to get her drinks through the bar so at dinner and lunch our assistant waiter had to find a bar server to get her drinks. Other then that, the drink cards are a pretty good deal. They even have a 10-drink punch card for non-alcoholic drinks that saved some money. One member of our party got the 12 drink card but still ended up getting a few drinks of the day as they were just as cheap as the drinks with the drink card. The muster drill was pretty hot as we were stuck on deck facing the sun but it's a necessity. After watching the ship leave port it was time for us to get ready for dinner. We had the main seating, which is the one thing I would change. Some of our party that had cruised before on Carnival suggest the main seating because when they cruised on Carnival they had second seating and had to wait a couple of times for the previous seating to finish their dinning. The problem I had with the main seating is that first, we almost didn't have our luggage in our room on the first night to change for dinner. I would recommend a carry-on with your dinner attire when you board the ship as we noticed it took some cabins until 8:00 to get their luggage. The other problem with the main dinning is that when we were at ports that left early like Key West we missed watching the departure because we were at dinner and we never saw a sunset as our dinning time was during sunset. The food in the main dinning room was great and we ate every meal there. Our server Onar was excellent and all of our food was as Onar would say, was "crispy". Our assistant waiter Andrea was also very good and even at breakfast and lunch when we had different servers we still had very good service. After dinner we caught the one man show El Gaucho. I had pretty low expectations but was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the shows on board. After the show we checked out some of the lounges and some of our group went dancing and checked out the Karaoke lounge. Tuesday we were in Nassau and instead of booking a tour we found a great tour guide Perry. He gave us a great tour of the Nassau and explained many of the culture history of the Bahamas. He was excellent and not only did he explain the history well, but he dispelled many myths about the culture of the Bahamas and you could tell that he was very proud of his country. Our final stop on the tour was the Atlantis casino, which didn't impress me very much. I've spent a lot of time in Vegas so another mammoth casino isn't very unique to me. After our tour we had lunch on the ship and then walked to the Straw Market. Perry had some good advice about shopping in Nassau. Unless it's made in the Bahamas it's not a good deal. Everything in the Bahamas is subject to high import tax, which is why he said a $14,000 car in the US cost $22,000 in Nassau. As with most tourist areas there is someone trying to sell you something everything you turn a corner. After dinner we watched the musical salute to TV, it was pretty good, just not my cup of tea. Then we decided to venture out again to Nassau and then boarded the ship just before it left. As we were leaving the midnight buffet was in full swing on the pool deck. One thing I was impressed with is that they spread the food out so that everyone didn't have to crowd one area to eat. After the buffet our group decided it was time for more dancing but I just went to sleep. We were pretty lucky on our trip. The weather was great all the time. I was pretty nervous about Coco Cay as I heard many stories about bad weather interrupting the day at Coco Cay. I have my own snorkeling gear so we got off the tender and found a quiet spot on the far side of the island. The snorkeling was great and one lady even reported seeing a sting ray. Two of us literally spent the whole day just snorkeling except for a break for lunch. If you do visit Coco Cay and want some solitude I would walk as far past the main beach areas as possible. We did that, and only had a couple dozen people share our pristine beach. Coco Cay was by far the highlight of the trip. Our final port was Key West. Thanks to a non-US passenger that couldn't be found for two hours no one was allowed to leave the ship until almost noon. Fortunately, we booked an afternoon excursion and the only thing affected was our shopping time. We did the fury catamaran snorkeling trip. After spending a day at Coco Cay this was a let down. Not too many fish to look at. By the time we got back to the dock there was just a little time to shop before the ship departed. Overall I had a great experienced. I used what learned from other reviews to help my cruise go much smoother. If you know what excursions you want to take book them before your cruise on the website. The line at the excursion desk was usually long when it was open. I wouldn't worry about arriving too early to the dock because you'll just be standing in line or waiting until they allow you to board the ship. If you enjoy meeting people always eat in the main dinning room. We wanted to have a table to ourselves so I made sure that we had a group of six on our cruise. Having done the four day cruise, I'm now planning a 7 night cruise with another big group. Read Less
Sail Date September 2003
We booked on line at the last minute. We got a great deal and everything was very smoothly. RCCI has a user friendly, information packed web site! Since this was September and prime hurricane season, as the weather forecasters projected ... Read More
We booked on line at the last minute. We got a great deal and everything was very smoothly. RCCI has a user friendly, information packed web site! Since this was September and prime hurricane season, as the weather forecasters projected Isabel was going to move right through our path, I was very sorry we did not buy the trip insurance. Fortunately we didn't need it. We did purchase almost every over-the-counter anti-seasickness medication we could find and they worked! I wasn't nauseous once. There was only one night when I thought the ship was moving (that was also the night I had the most to drink - hmm coincidence?) Flight, Embarkation and Sail Away We flew from the NY area to Miami with no problems. We arrived at about 9 am and decided to have an "adventure". Instead of paying $22 per person for RCI's transportation to the ship, we opted to pay $0.50 and take the local public bus. It would have been OK, if the driver fulfilled his promise to tell us where to get off. (You should get off by the Justice Complex and walk to the "tourist" shuttle mini bus which takes you to the pier for another $1.) He didn't tell us and we had to walk 3 blocks in the heat with all of our stuff. The adventure continued because the shuttle driver was new and she dropped us off at the business office, not at the ship. We could have waited about a half hour for the next shuttle but we were in a hurry & charged with anticipation now that we'd seen our ship to get there so we walked again, through a serpentine course under the Key Biscayne Bridge. Thank heavens we had luggage with wheels! The stevedores were great - they walked an extra ½ block to relieve us of our stuff when they saw us coming. Boy did they get a big tip from us. We had to wait several minutes in the embarkation area because we were very early and they weren't ready to board yet. It really wasn't a problem; the air conditioning felt so wonderful after our trek. Many of our fellow passengers didn't follow directions or have their documents ready. We did, so we moved quickly and smoothly through the lines. Tip: fill everything out on-line, rip it out of the book they mail you and have it in your hands. Inside the terminal there were cookies and lemonade while you were waiting. We were thrilled - we were parched and hungry after our unexpected walk. We ended up being about the 3rd or 4th people on the ship who weren't members of the crown and anchor society, RCI's frequent cruiser program. Walking around on deck having the whole ship to ourselves was phenomenal. We took some wonderful pictures of Miami and enjoyed some silence before the Sail Away festivities began. As we unpacked and settled in, I realized I had forgotten some things. We actually disembarked and walked back into town. There's an open air mall and some other downtown shops about 1 mile away from the pier. Taxis are available; we took one back for about $5 b/c it was just too humid. Getting back on board was a breeze because we had our sea passes and could skip most of the lines. Muster was more organized and less scary than I anticipated. I just didn't want to think about the possibility that the ship would sink. The crew simply explained that unlike an airplane crash, it is possible to survive a disaster at sea. All you have to do is put on your life jacket and follow directions. We did meet a couple at muster on their 26th cruise. They were our age too. Ahhh, something to aspire to. The Sail Away party was a bit hokey for my tastes. I do not like public participation activities, but the mood was festive, the weather spectacular and the vacation had begun. Be aware that you are being video taped and may be subjected to watching yourself on a big screen the last night. Your fellow passengers can also buy a copy of this tape for their future viewing pleasure. We tipped our bartender, Clifton, at the aft bar $10 when we got our first round. He remembered our names and favorite drinks for the rest of the trip! The aft bar on the pool deck is nothing to look at; you can't sit there but it is much less crowded than the congested main bar near the Windjammer Cafe and the service is faster than waiting for a waiter. Cabin As this was our first cruise we opted for the ocean view room and enjoyed our partially obstructed view. The obstruction was that we could see the bottoms of the life rafts. Big deal. The cabin was small but well designed and actually bigger than expected. The bed was comfortable and there was enough storage space for everything, if you slide your suitcase under the bed. The temperature on board was always perfect - not too hot and not too cold. This amazed both of us. (He's always hot & I'm always cold.) The bathroom was very tiny and I still wonder how larger passengers fit in the shower. If you are looking for "fun in the shower" with your cabin mate - give that idea up now. There's not enough room to change your own mind in there. We were on deck 8 which was convenient to everything. We managed to keep the inevitable weight gain to a modest 5 lbs by always taking the stairs but there never seemed to be much of a wait for elevators except when departing or returning from excursions. Even then, if you walked down a hall to a different bank it was OK. We didn't spend much time awake in the cabin so I doubt that I would ever opt for something larger unless I was traveling with more people; I could not imagine having more that 2 people in there. I was glad we brought a clothes steamer to get out some wrinkles. Bobby sent his tuxedo shirt out for pressing; that bill was $2. My favorite was the towel animals the cabin steward made every night. I loved coming back to see what surprise awaited us. Somehow the origami style towel animals were always wearing my sunglasses. Dining We opted for the late dinner seating so as not to miss the sunsets and to avoid passengers with children. Sean our waiter was marvelous and Wilma, the head waitress, was one of the most vivacious people ever. We were at a table for 6 but one couple never showed up. Our table mates worked in the travel industry for an airline and were lovely dinner companions. On the last day while we were in a bar in Key West, a couple from the table for 6 next to us came over asked if we could sit on the other side of our long table closer to them, so they could have someone to talk to. We had previously kept "social" space between our table and theirs. They had observed us having so much fun; ironically we had commented that their table never talked or smiled. It turned out these 20 something high school sweethearts had been stranded at a table with one couple who only spoke German and another couple who was seasick. The last night we moved to the other side of our table to sit with our new friends. Wilma asked about the change. When we explained, she demanded - in her thick eastern European accent - that we all get up so we obeyed, raised our glasses and sat back. She pushed the tables together to make one big party. Even the two other previously dowdy couples seemed to loosen up. The food was good. It wasn't fantastic but it was enjoyable. One night when nothing on the menu appealed to me, our waiter Sean suggested I order the same thing I'd enjoyed the night before as they still had a few steaks left. He explained that chef will make you something to order if the ingredients are available. We primarily ate breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer Cafe. Breakfast buffets are all pretty much alike but everything was hearty and usually hot (a nice surprise). The lines were never too long. If you wanted something lighter, there was always plenty of fresh fruit available. I usually grabbed a piece for later by the pool. We did eat in the dining room one morning because that was the only place to get eggs benedict. We were seated with a group of Asian tourists who did not speak English. The service in the dining room for breakfast slow and, surprisingly, the portions were small. We did not return to formal breakfast. The best pre-cruise tip we found was the suggestion to bring a large, insulated mug on board. We'd fill it with water or another included beverage from the fountains and sip that by the pool. It was much cheaper than paying $3.50 per bottle for the Evian the cruise seemed to be hawking at every opportunity. The water from the fountains is safe to drink; I do not know if you can drink the water from the sink in your cabin but I would be more safe than sorry and not brave it. The poolside midnight buffet was served on formal night. Disappointingly, our fellow passengers changed into shorts for the event. We opted to stay dressed. As we walked onto the deck, some woman grabbed Bobby & pulled him into the conga line saying she couldn't resist a man in a tuxedo. He was happy to go around the deck once and I was in search of chocolate so it worked out for everyone. The other midnight buffet was spectacular to look at. It was hard to believe that everything, including the flowers, was made out of food. We walked though at about 11 pm for the preview and took some pictures. When we came back at 11:45 to eat, the wait was over one hour to get in. Food simply did not interest me that much because we had barely finished dinner; Bobby was hungry so we had a mediocre pizza in the sports bar instead. Entertainment We loved the Viking Crown Lounge, RCI's signature 360 degree bar around the smokestacks. The panoramic view is breathtaking. We went up there the first night before dinner to have a quiet glass of champagne and unwind. We met a waitress named Sylvia who was marvelous. She wasn't very busy so she took the time to talk to us and tell us more about the ship. She explained that the crew had been a bit nervous about Hurricane Isabel but that we would have gone to Mexico if she came to the Bahamas. She also confirmed that RCI has a deal with the Weather Channel to track storms. Sylvia introduced us to an on-board entertainer who was enjoying his day off. We engaged in a pleasant conversation with him and later saw his wonderful acrobatic show. The comedienne who followed him was funny. We only went to the casino once. It always seemed bustling with activity. We played a few slots and went to the champagne bar afterwards. The library and game room were well stocked and comfortable. The board games were often checked out early. The rock climbing wall defeated me early on but Bobby climbed it a few times. Each face is a different degree of difficulty. He swears the view from 15 stories above the ocean enhanced by your sense of personal accomplishment is not to be missed. I'll take his word for it. Every day you are given a Compass and itinerary. Bring a highlighter to note what you would like to do. There are so many choices everyday. On the second day the ship experienced some sort of problem with one of the pools. The nature of the problem was never explained to the passengers. It remained drained for the duration of the cruise. Thus, if you wanted to get wet, the other pool was crowded. I was a bit concerned about the lack of lifeguards, especially since there were little kids and people who had been drinking. The Captain's Event was kind of boring, but you do get free champagne or Bahama mamas. The house champagne was drinkable. It was also a fabulous place to people watch; I enjoyed seeing everyone all dressed up. It was also much less of a hard-sell commercial than I thought it was going to be. The Captain told some jokes and explained the difference between a ship and a boat. (Ships have captains and boats have frustrated husbands.) Exiting the event, we found a photographer set up. One other couple was ahead of us and a passerby took our picture with our camera too. We ended up buying the photograph because it actually came out well. (Anybody who knows me, knows I hate having my picture taken, so this was an accomplishment). Upstairs in the main atrium people were waiting on line for 45 minutes to have their pictures taken. The on-board shopping offered better bargains than I thought we'd find. The duty free shops were competitively priced with land based stores, but there were no real bargains. They do gouge you on necessities, so pack your toiletry bag carefully. Excursions In Nassau we left the ship without any wait and walked around the main section of town. We bought some trinkets and other souvenirs. We had both been to the Bahamas before and neither of us liked it. It was much cleaner and less seedy than it had been in '91, the last time I was there. You can take public transportation or a taxi to Paradise Island or other public beaches on Grand Bahama. Both are much better values than booking the same trips through the cruise line. We did enjoy watching the crew practice the life boat drill. Coco Cay, RCI's private island, was cute. It had a Disney-esque quality. Everything was just a little too "perfect" and contrived but it was a nice day at the beach. About the only time we waited for anything during the whole cruise was to get on and off the tenders to and from the island. The hammocks on the island were comfortable. I wish the waiters selling "coco loco in the sun" had on-off switches. After about 15 minutes of that mantra from every direction it gets old, fast. A menu similar to the lunch buffet aboard ship was available on the island, along with huge containers of fresh, potable water. Again, armed with our trusty insulated mugs there was no need to purchase water. The snorkeling was OK. RCI sunk a boat & a plane for you to go "find". They give you a map and other swimmers tend to congregate by these wrecks. Various life guards throw fish food into the water to cause the fish to swarm around you. In that frenzy one fish bit a mole off some guy's back. It was fairly disconcerting to see him bleeding but he thought it was funny. The current was strong and rough because of Hurricane Isabel so for safety reasons they closed the deep snorkeling reef. Although we brought our own equipment, I was very impressed with the quality and frequency of the safety lectures and the sterilization procedures. Key West was eye opening. The natives are incredibly liberal and welcome all sorts of alternative lifestyles. Watch out for all the people who rented golf carts to get around & can't drive them well. The town was a bit disappointed; they had been expecting the arrival of an Aircraft Carrier and 5,000 sailors but due to the hurricane the carrier was re-routed to Norfolk, VA to provide disaster relief. They were also waiting for a Harley Motorcycle Event to roll into town. What a combination. There is no ban on public nudity in Key West as long as you are wearing body paint. We were there in the morning and afternoon so things were fairly calm. I do not think I would bring impressionable kids through many parts of town after a certain hour. We had a drink at the Hogs' Breath Saloon because, well, you have to. We also went to Irish Kevin's - where as the sign said, "we came, we drank, we don't remember." Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville looked like it would have been fun but we were short on time. The tour of the Summer White House was educational. As you walk there from the pier, about 3-5 blocks, take a look at the lush and unique foliage. The highlight of our trip was parasailing with Sebago on Williams Street. Through the cruise you could purchase parasailing excursions at every port. They were charging about $60 pp for a ½ hour boat ride and a 6 minute sail. We paid $75 for 2 people to go on 5 minute boat ride and a ½ hour parasail. Sebago is a member of the Key West Chamber of Commerce. They are fully insured and take safety very seriously. For an extra $10 they will also take digital pictures of you sailing and give you the disk to print out when you get home. There's an Internet Cafe on the pier right there, with cheaper computer access fees, if, like us, you didn't bring a lap top but can't wait to see yourself flying through the air. Sebago also made a point of sailing us past the Majesty twice for a birds' eye view of the ship. The worst thing was a handful of inconsiderate people had to be called to go through customs repeatedly. Nobody could disembark until these slackers finally showed up. Being called once because you overslept is one thing but making 2,500 people wait because you couldn't be bothered was something else all together. I realize the cruise line has no control over this but it's worth mentioning that sometimes you will be inconvenienced by others. Disembarking We forgot that our stuff had to be outside the room the last night. As the porter was coming down the hall we were inside furiously packing. He graciously waited, well actually walked back down the hall to get our stuff. The next morning, we had a leisurely breakfast and disembarked with one of the last groups because our flight home was purposely scheduled for evening. Customs was very quick but we had to wait a few minutes for the luggage. It would have been nice if there had been more places to sit while we waited As first time cruisers we weren't sure what to do with our luggage all day. We decided to rent a car to explore Miami and lock our stuff in the trunk. Where else could you put all that stuff for $29 and know it was safe? We took the Avis courtesy shuttle back to airport. The driver told us that if we ever cruise again, Avis will drive us to the port for free too if we are renting a car on the way back. She also said that most of the rental car companies will let "club members" use the shuttles even if they aren't renting on that particular trip. We picked up our rental and the agent went over the map with us. Florida is pretty easy to navigate. We headed south on Route 1 to Coral Castle. It's this huge place all hand carved out of coral by one guy in the 1920s and 30s. It has a sun dial that is still accurate. There's a 9 ton door you can move with one finger and the furniture is surprisingly comfortable. Some people say the place has mystical qualities. I don't know about that but I thought $20 pp for an attraction you can see in about 20 minutes was a bit pricey. After the Castle we drove north to the Miami zoo and learned the hard way why Floridians don't go to the zoo on 90 degree days with 100% humidity. We had the place to ourselves and were able to listen in on some private zoo keeper tours. It was fairly easy to see all the animals. Every few feet there were misters to cool you, so all in all it was fun. I enjoyed seeing the two baby giraffes who were both under 7 feet tall. Back at the airport, we were told our flight home was delayed. Isabel had reeked havoc with the airports along the Northeast Corridor and the airlines were still playing catch up. We were happy to be stranded on that end rather than at home anxious to come down. Instead of grabbing a quick bite, we settled in for a more relaxed meal and had a few more cocktails to wind down our vacation. Conclusion This was truly one of the best vacations ever! There was always something or nothing to do. The best part was it changed everyday and you did not have to plan any of it. You could just let it happen. Despite my generally skeptical nature, by the time I got off the Majesty I was a Crown and Anchor member & had an application for their credit card in my hands. Read Less
Sail Date September 2003
We weren't sure if we would like cruising! Decided to try the four night cruise. We only cruised once before, 25 years ago! Decided to visit Miami Area a day earlier. RCCL recommended the Wyndham Grand Bay,Coconut Grove. Lovely ... Read More
We weren't sure if we would like cruising! Decided to try the four night cruise. We only cruised once before, 25 years ago! Decided to visit Miami Area a day earlier. RCCL recommended the Wyndham Grand Bay,Coconut Grove. Lovely accommodations and service was superb. Walked to CocoWalk and had dinner. Following morning we were taken to Port of Miami to board the Majesty of the Seas. Embarkation: Miami: We arrived at the Port around 12 noon. The whole process went very fast. Able to place our carry on belongings in our Junior Suite by 12:30 pm. Off we went to the Windjammer Cafe' for lunch. After lunch we stopped by our cabin to freshen up and to our surprise the rest of our luggage was there! Our next stop was to explore the ship before leaving port. Ship: Even though the Majesty of the Seas was 11 years old, we felt it was kept in pretty good condition. The public rooms were clean and always neat. Read in previous reviews that there was an odor throughout the ship. We never smelled any offensive odors while on our cruise! Cabin: Junior Suite is the way to travel. Spacious room and bathroom with tub. And the balcony is delightful! Our cabin steward was there to greet us when we first went to the cabin. He was always on top of everything and kept the cabin immaculate. Unfortunately, we do not remember his name. Dining: We chose the Early Seating for Dinner. Our table was a table for 4. During the four nights, we only saw the young newly married couple two times. Unfortunately, the young woman was not feeling well. The service at our table was very good. Our Assistant Waiter, Tracy was marvelous. She catered to our every whim. We can't understand why a passenger would complain about the food. We felt it was pretty good. And the steaks were delicious! I must have had steak at least three of the nights. Chose to eat breakfast and lunch in the Dining Room rather that the Windjammer Cafe'. Entertainment:Saw one evening show and the Comedy Show. Both were good. Comedy Show kept us laughing. Ports of Call: Attending the shopping seminar which was very enlightening! Even won $100 prize! Bahamas: Did not take a tour, but walked throughout the town and visited the many shops. We didn't think the weather was all that bad. Had a rain shower that lasted maybe 20 minutes or so, then the sun came out. Returned to the ship to enjoy lunch. Then grabbed a taxi, with other passengers, and ventured over to the Atlantis. Very impressive but very expensive. Tried our luck at the casino and even won!!!! Coco Cay: Tendered to the private island. Lovely place. Enjoyed just walking on the beach and swimming. Beautiful weather and the BBQ great! Key West: Unfortunately, we were unable to enter Key West. The day was beautiful, sunny and warm but there were high winds. So we stayed at sea for the day. We were disappointed, since we had never visited Key West before. Kept busy on the ship. There are so many things to do. Disembarkation: Miami: Friday came so quick. Here we are back in Miami. Everything was very organized leaving the ship and getting to our destination. We were so very pleased with the cruise, we booked a cruise for October 2004 on the Navigator of the Seas. We were surprised to read the poor review from Scott. We didn't experience any of his situations. Accept for not being able to visit Key West due to the winds, which is understandable. Read Less
Sail Date October 2003
Thanksgiving Majesty Review (Sort of long!) After reading mixed reviews, I was nervous about our Thanksgiving cruise on the Majesty of the Seas, but to sum it all up it was really fantastic. Hubby and I were to be taking his mom and my ... Read More
Thanksgiving Majesty Review (Sort of long!) After reading mixed reviews, I was nervous about our Thanksgiving cruise on the Majesty of the Seas, but to sum it all up it was really fantastic. Hubby and I were to be taking his mom and my aunt & uncle (all in their 70's) on their first cruise. As it turned out, my uncle had a heart attack and was unable to travel, giving us a first-hand experience with the value of cruise insurance. He's now out of the hospital, and hoping to get strong enough to make the trip in the future. Details: Pre-cruise - Spent two nights at the Embassy Suites by the Airport, arranged through Priceline. Decent hotel at good price. Enjoyed seeing some of Miami - shopped at Bayside and visited Bubba Gump's. Embarkation - Very smooth! Arrived at port around 10:45. Went straight up to security check. Moved through sea pass receipt and was on board and in cabins by noon. Signs at check-in said ship was full - no upgrades available. Cabins - We were on deck 9 in category D. Had booked handicapped room for my uncle in wheelchair and room for M-I-L two doors down. Hubby and I were to be on other side of hall because that's what was available. Began asking upon boarding if it would be possible to move to my uncle's cabin since it would most likely be sitting empty, and that would put us closer to M-I-L. At first told no - cabin had been re-booked, but that evening was told to go ahead and move. The cabin 9034 would have been perfect for my aunt & uncle. Lots of space to maneuver wheelchair. Bathroom had great roll-in shower. Two windows. We felt very spoiled to have the space. I'll try to figure out how to post the handicapped room photos for those who are curious. Our attendant was Mary from the Philippines. She was sweet, knew our names right away, and took great care of us. Food - Quite good. No, it's not gourmet, but enjoyable. We've done windjammer in the past for breakfast, but since this was a slower pace cruise for us with no kids, we ate more meals in the dining room and enjoyed them. Our waiter was Onur (I've probably spelled that wrong) and he was delightful. Assistant was brand new, Sandros, a bit nervous but friendly and eager to please. Head waiter was Dario. We had early seating and never felt rushed. Thanksgiving dinner was a lot of fun - our waiters seemed quite proud of their role in providing us with a special meal. They had a special commemorative menu for us. "Chocolate Buffet" as we were told the one late night buffet would be was actually more of a general buffet with lots of desserts. Poolside sailaway buffet was great. Never tried the pizza - can't say we were ever hungry! Ports - Nassau we did some shopping and took taxi to Atlantis. Didn't get past the guards to see the beach or pool. Would have tried another beach but M-I-L was tired. Coco Cay was warm enough for swimming, food was better than previous experience on Labadee. More salads that were good. We snorkeled and spent the day in the sun. Key West was OK - expensive shopping, OK trolley tour. Everything was open despite the fact that it was thanksgiving. Had the chocolate dipped key lime pie on a stick. Yum! Entertainment - Probably biggest disappointment. I guess vocalist entertainers were ill - comedian did a couple of shows on his own. I don't remember his name. He was OK - but not really enough to carry the farewell show on his own although that's the way it worked out. Marriage show was OK first night - not too exciting. People who got picked seemed sort of "rigid" and didn't get very creative with their answers. Second marriage show on final night swung the other way - some of the answers were quite shocking to part of the audience, I'm sure! Quest was OK - secret to winning is to be seated close to the stage I think. Cruise Director Ricco was OK. A little "looser" than the what I've experienced before. Party on deck on Nassau night was a lot of fun. Casino ate our money but didn't give us anything back this time. Fellow passengers - Met some great people. If by chance they see this, hello to crazy birthday boy Phil, and my hubby's beer buddy, Larry. Our Tablemates, Susanne & her daughter Sarah were delightful. Lots of families enjoying thanksgiving together. Lots of kids and teens - but no rowdies that we witnessed. Seemed like a subdued crowd in some ways. Disembarking - Immigration is done prior to disembarking in Key West. Line at our appointed time was horribly long - but in a half hour it was all clear. Go early if you're up. Final day our color was the third to the last scheduled to be called, but we were called while we were eating breakfast in the dining room. Took our time, got bags very easily, sailed through customs, and within minutes were in a cab and on our way to the airport... with three hours to kill! Final thoughts - my concerns about ragged conditions and sewer like smells were unfounded. But... I'm taking a group of 40 on the Sovereign next year and I'm more concerned about those comments from that ship. I'd love to hear from others who have recently sailed on her. The Majesty proved to be a delightful way to give an older relative a taste of cruising, while making great new friends and enjoying a hard working crew. Cheers! Lisa in Pittsburgh Read Less
Sail Date November 2003
The cruise was great... Uneventful in a good way... Friday: Arrived at the ship by 2:50 and were in our cabin around 3:30. After we unpacked it was time for the 4 pm Muster drill. After 8 or so cruises, this was the fastest drill I have ... Read More
The cruise was great... Uneventful in a good way... Friday: Arrived at the ship by 2:50 and were in our cabin around 3:30. After we unpacked it was time for the 4 pm Muster drill. After 8 or so cruises, this was the fastest drill I have ever experienced! :-) We missed the lunch on the lido deck, but the pizzeria and deli were open (24 hour pizzeria), so we were able to grab some food after the drill. The pizza is quite good (you can also get bread sticks and Caesar salad at the pizzeria), and the sandwiches at the deli were great. Additionally, there is a bar right next to the pizzeria & deli on the lido deck, so everything was quite convenient. We had late seating... so we ate dinner at 8:30. On Friday night we were seated at table 104 - it was an 8-person table by the windows. Our tablemates were a family of five - consisting of three young (and sometimes obnoxious) boys. Additionally, the headwaiter and his assistant were cold & had no personality. We had to ask for ice tea and coffee three times before receiving it. That evening's dinner was alright - I had the lobster, which was a bit tough and difficult to cut. My friend had the prime rib and she said it was tough as well. The appetizers and desserts were wonderful, however. On Saturday we arrived in the Bahamas around 7:30. The weather was cool and breezy... The shopping district is within walking distance of the boat - there are lots of stores and all kinds of goodies, such as jewelry, liquor, perfume, etc... The odd thing about this port is that the people in the stores did not bargain with you - if you saw a price on a piece of jewelry, then that's what the price was. Additionally, many of the people really had attitudes here! I even heard one saleslady complaining loudly about Americans - while a bunch of us were in her store! So we all just walked out... I wish I would have gone to Senor Frog's and to the Atlantis - but I just ran out of energy. All in all we had a nice time walking around there and enjoyed ourselves. Saturday was the formal night... The dinner this evening was the best - we all had the "Delice of the Ocean" - which consisted of scallops and shrimp. The appetizers, dinner and dessert were all excellent that night! Oh, and I almost failed to mention... I think one of the reasons dinner was so good was based on the fact that I asked for a new table. We lucked out and received table 139 - a booth that we soon realized we were to have all by ourselves!! Both waiters were wonderful (and quite funny)... Sunday was the day at sea... There were so many activities planned that I was unable to attend all of the things that interested me! It was cool out again and a bit cloudy - so laying out on deck was out of the question. It was a fun and relaxing day... Monday's debarkation went quite well - probably one of the best yet for me! After ordering room service for breakfast, we took our time getting ready and waited on the Promenade deck by the casino until our color was called. We didn't leave our cabin until 9 am or so, so we only had to wait on the Promenade for about an hour. All in all we had a very nice trip - nothing went wrong and the staff were all wonderful (except our two original waiters, but I'll cut them some slack here). The ship looked great and was always clean. As a side note, we had a Cat. 11 suite on the Upper deck... I think I am hooked on having a cabin mid-ship! We never felt the ship dock nor was it ever rocky! Happy sailings!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2003
Majesty of the Seas January 16- 19th 2004 Pre-cruise Planning Like any good sequel, the roots for our cruise planning started the day we returned home from our seven day western Caribbean cruise on Voyager of the Seas. This planning was ... Read More
Majesty of the Seas January 16- 19th 2004 Pre-cruise Planning Like any good sequel, the roots for our cruise planning started the day we returned home from our seven day western Caribbean cruise on Voyager of the Seas. This planning was aided by getting "bumped" from our flight home to a later flight giving us free airfare and cutting the cruise cost in half. In the middle of summer we thought about the depths of winter and a three day holiday. Martin Luther King Day was the first that came to mind for us. This review will cover in depth our cruise on Majesty of the Seas January 16- 19th 2004 departing out of Miami with stops in Coco Cay and Nassau, Bahamas. Before we start I wanted to take some time to tell you a little about ourselves and the perspective that we would be using for our review. I am 34 years old and a Computer network administrator for a local school district. My wife is 33 and a Dental hygienist who works in a very modern office. We also have a four year old daughter. We had made a decision not to take our daughter with us on Voyager due to her age and at the prompting of both sets of grandparents who took care of her half the week each much to her over indulged delight. Six months out when we booked, we hemmed and hawed about taking her on this cruise and in the end felt like this cruise would be a "quickie" and decided that she would have more fun at home. To that end, we tried to streamline the process of getting to the ship, activities on the ship and getting back as well planned as possible. One of the main sources of information I had used for our Voyager cruise was the Cruise Critic boards, which had been very helpful. I found with the exception of one or two helpful Majesty veterans there was not a wealth of information to be found on this particular ship or its destinations. That is why I am writing this review. As we approached our departure date our plans for our daughter started to unravel. My wife's mother, an avid cruiser, passed away suddenly in early December making for a difficult and sad time for our family. My stepmother was also having some surgery and medical problems and with this added pressure, communication between us became strained. To our relief my brother and sister in-law who had accompanied us on our Voyager cruise, were happy to take care of our daughter. She would also spend the day with both grandfathers. We did explore taking her with us on the cruise. At this late date, the cruise would have been almost $900 cruise and airfare. I left the airport mumbling about her just being four and said "What? For that kind of money she should be able to fly the plane." We had decided up front to forgo any hard sided luggage and go all carry on (official real carry on luggage, one bag each). We skipped any formal clothes and just brought smart causal, our only worry would be our table mates and we brought a bottle of wine to smooth over any problems. We also brought our own snorkels and masks, the first two Harry Potter books and books for my wife. All in all I felt we had packed all that we would need and not a stitch more. Our plan was to Snorkel and sit on the beach in Coco Cay and shop and do Atlantis "The Dig" in the Bahamas. Day One - "Holy Cow it's cold" The first day of out trip seems to always start the night before. Having cleaned the house, packed, contacted every one with "in case the ship sinks" information and planned everything out for the morning, we headed over to a local restaurant with my brother and sister in-law to treat them to dinner. After dinner we headed to the market pick up some travel snacks and treats for our daughter when I noticed the van was not quite driving correctly. We stopped to get some gas and discovered the front driver's side tire has deflated and had come off its rim. We called a tow truck and sat and waited for help to arrive. (Now before you get the wrong idea I am pretty handy and although have never changed a tire on the van and when I looked for the spare it was not where I expected it to be but I would not have let that stop me. What stopped me was the fact it was -8 degrees out with a wind chill of -25). When the tow truck driver arrived he also had no interest in changing the tire either so we just towed it. In the end you can add picking up the van and putting gas in it to my brother in-law's list of good deeds for the weekend. January 16, 2004 -Weather Albany -10° with a wind chill of -35 to -55 Miami 70° light clouds Four thirty in the morning came really early after the night's excitement. We watched as school after school closed due to the cold. Then we headed off to the airport. Since we only had carry on we skipped the line and did the self check in. We had no problems getting through airport security except they did look twice at the bottle of wine. We didn't use any locks or zip ties, I did not have to take off my shoes. We boarded and we were off to Charlotte then Miami. Once in Miami we scooted past the luggage carrousel and right into a waiting cab. Once at the ship we filled out our Bahamas immigration forms and went right to check in with no line. We were cheerfully greeted and quickly processed. Then we boarded and started searching for our cabin (4565) on deck four the same level as our dining room and boarding area. The cabin we found and once we got over the initial shock of sleeping in a closet (These cabins are small, that is no secret 117sq ft to compare them with other ships of the line would be unfair, just be aware) we also were surprised to find no safe or mini fridge. The soda and water were just stacked on the desk. The bathroom was equally small and we finally found one of the infamous shower curtains that people mention on the Cruise Critic boards. All that being said we found the cabin to be fine for sleeping and getting ready for dinner. I could see if you had to spend a lot of time in there because of the weather it could be too small. After changing we went off to explore the ship. We also meet our Cabin attendant Ivan from St. Vincent. We quickly discovered the only way to traverse large areas of the ship would be by the stairs (Which thankfully went both up and down, Thanks Rico) we went to the Centrum where we purchase soda cards $18 per person and checked on our dinner table and menu. Then off to the Windjammer for some lunch. We didn't see anything that varied from the traditional RCI fare, but everything was good. We shot up to the pool deck and took in the sun; there are two large pools with kid pools attached and two hot tubs (which were closed). Wondering why no one was swimming yet, I dipped a foot in a discovered that they were a wee bit on the cold side. That would be the theme for water on the boat and on the islands; I would do some swimming but not today. We then sought out the gym, Schooner bar and theater. My first overall impression of this ship is that it is showing it's age, stained & ripped carpet, dents in the walls, tape hanging from the ceilings and an overall out dated theme that is right out the early 90's. Did that ruin my vacation? No, it did not; we took the ship on face value. It's smaller than many and a little out dated which also means less people on the cruise and a sense of the history of RCI and its fleet. The shops and casino were closed while we were in port, something to remember because you are usually in port during the days on the trip. Before dinner we had the compulsory muster drill. I found it strange how many people were taken completely by surprise when the drill started, though RCI had made three announcements and left detailed instructions on the bed. We mustered in area 10 which happened to be the bar, so we got to sit down and relax while the rest of the ship sweated outside. We met our neighbors there and found out it was her birthday and first cruise. After the drill we went up to the bow of the boat to watch the ship pull out, only to be thwarted by Captain Kristofferson announcing that the pilot was stuck in traffic and we would be running late. After taking time to explaining to a fellow cruiser that it was not the pilot that flew her plane here but the harbor pilot that was running late. We got ready for dinner and headed off for the Mikado dinning room where we met our dining companions. I think this was the only trepidation that my wife had on the trip. It would turn out that we were seated with some wonderful people. Our tablemates would be Bob and his wife Jill from Wisconsin; they were on their 7th cruise, the other couple was Dave and his wife Connie from Pennsylvania they were on their 3rd cruise. It was also Connie's 40th Birthday on Saturday the formal night. Our waiter was Mustafa from Turkey and our assistant waiter was Jose from Argentina. We will rate the service on a one through six scale; everyone will start at three and move up and down from there. We feel very strongly about tipping and dining in the dining room. I was anxious to see if the reports of Tip night flu would come to pass. I will also say that the staff works very hard and unless I run across a total lack of caring, they will get the full tip they deserve and usually more. We quickly discovered that Jose was in training and we just hoped that the glasses that he broke every other night don't come out of his pay. The first night of the cruise was Venetian night at dinner I had Strawberry bisque, a Caesar salad, and the Ranch steak. I also had Chocolate cake for dessert. I enjoyed the soup, bread and salad. The Ranch steak was my choice because I am having some problems with red sauces. I found this steak to be some what chewy (I have had a very good Ranch steak on Voyager; it may have just been this piece of meat.) The biggest disappointment was the Warm Chocolate cake; it was dry and flavorless I could not even eat enough of it to get to the chocolate center. My wife had the Roasted Garlic soup (very good) the Caesar salad (typical), the Shrimp Scampi (excellent and much anticipated) and the Warm Chocolate Cake (see above). We used our soda cards in the dinning room so Jose brought us a couple of cokes. (Jose had to be prompted to bring soda and refills.) During this night we also endured the photo with the pirate, and a song from the wait staff, the song would have been fine if not for the music that was too loud to hear any singing. We finished the dinner with a discussion of the next day's plans and went off to explore. First day ratings: Waiter - 2 (Mustafa was harried and stressed, mostly with working with Jose). Assistant Waiter - 3 (Broken glasses and all he is just trying to learn). Head waiter -3 (Introduced himself). Cabin Attendant -3 (Solid job keeping things clean). We moved on to the welcome aboard show. This is where we met Rico the cruise director who was very high energy. We also were treated to "The beat goes on" a song and dance show covering music from the 1950's to 1990's Main stream pop. The show consisted of four singers two girls, two guys and a troupe of dancers. It was not Broadway, but it was entertaining and a comfortable theater. We enjoyed the show & drinks from the Schooner bar. After the show we went up for a walk on deck and retired to our cabin for some much needed sleep. We found our cabin clean and with a stingray on the bed for those of you not in the know that means "welcome home, from RCI." Day Two - "This champagne tastes ...." January 17, 2004 - Weather Albany 24° Cloudy Coco Cay 79° Sunny Six fifteen in the morning is too soon also, now before you get all "hey you're on vacation sleep in for heaven sakes." My wife and I are a little over weight, we were not going to let vacationing get in the way of getting back down to a more comfortable weight. Our first stop: the gym and two treadmills. If I was a fitness expert I might give the fitness center a rating but for our purpose it worked just fine. After ½ hour we moved through the crowd of skinny people who were waiting for the fat people to get done with the treadmill (In the next installment I will let you in on how the treadmill people docked the ship in Nassau.) We did a couple cool down laps and headed right for Windjammer where we enjoyed a moderate breakfast out on the top deck. We watched the sunrise over Coco Cay. After breakfast we took the stairs down to the cabin to get changed. Let Ivan know about the toilet (When it refilled it came right up to the top of the bowl so when sat down it was more like a bidet, No Rico we did not get a feel for if it was fresh or salt water). We shot down the stairs to deck one and on to the first tender. The tender went over to Coco Cay with mostly the crew, staff and us. We made a right turn on the island and went right into the shops where we managed to surprise the shop keepers and hair braiders. We picked out a dress for our daughter and left with a new found respect for Caribbean shop keepers (SO, much different than Jamaica where we will never shop again). We then moved down to the beach and staked out two chairs tested the water (cold) and read for a while. After a 1/2 hour of that I wanted to go out snorkeling so I braved the cold water and was rewarded by crystal clear water and reefs teeming with life. It also helped that I was the only person in the water. Being the only person in the water I did get a little concerned when I saw what I believe was a barracuda swimming along. I looked at him and him at me and we just kept on swimming. Finally reaching the raft and wreck of an airplane, where one of the singers from the show/ lifeguard offered to feed the fish for me. A school of fish moved in and out of the airplane and all can say is it was well worth the trip. Returning to the beach my wife and I decided to explore the island. Using our soda cards for some refreshment, we followed the path around the island. We went past a couple of nice beaches and a hammock area. Then as we moved to pass another group one of the girls squealed out "Of my god, he's naked" Well we had found the naked beach or to be more precise one naked sun bather a gentleman about my size sunning it all. All I can say is dude, unlike the airplane reef "It" wasn't worth the trip. We reversed course and decided to join the buffet line. The food was plentiful and the lines were short. Again we didn't see anything that varied from the traditional RCI fare, but everything was good. We were intrigued by the roosters and chickens pecking around the picnic grounds. Around one o'clock we packed up and headed back to the ship. If you're a fan of just the ship, this crossing provides for the best pictures I think you can get of Majesty. We changed and showered and ran into our neighbors. We mentioned we were going to check out the art auction and they came along. We went to the preview and tagged a couple of things we liked. Jason the auctioneer gave us a preview of the prices of the pieces we had picked out. As we waited for the champagne to come we moved some tags over to some other hopefully less expensive paintings. As the champagne was passed out our neighbor was heard to say "This champagne taste like ^$$." Well it may not have been all that good, but it was free. We did not bid on anything mainly because the one time a piece of art work came up for bid in the range we could afford and I liked it, my wife had already left to get ready for dinner. Without her help I could not lift that heavy bid card by myself. The art auction was informative and exciting, plus you walk away with a little piece of art work which I think looks good. Our neighbors bid on a couple blind bids and won a necklace from the shopping supervisor. They went back to the cabin to celebrate her birthday. Speaking of which we found that there were a lot of anniversary, birthdays and family reunions groups on this ship, I would think at those cruise prices that would be a great get together. After quickly showering we went off for dinner with our wine in hand. Formal night I wore a polo shirt with khaki pants and sandals. I am unsure as to what elicited more stares my attire or the bottle of wine (I have purchased wine on RCI before a solid but unremarkable white zinfandel. We did not mind paying for it. We decided to bring the wine which at the last minute and were very happy with our choice which was more our speed). Arriving at the table we made comments on how nice everyone looked, and right away Dave loosened then removed his tie, we poured the wine and everyone was off telling the stories of their day. We notice that Jose had made some strides and was feeling more comfortable, which in turn allowed Mustafa to be able to spend more time with each of his tables and allow his charm to shine through. Tonight having eaten in the afternoon I skipped the appetizers, had a Caesar salad (good) and the NY strip steak (Very good) and I tried the Cheese Cake for dessert. (There were other entrEe choices that I could have had I was just in a beef mood all weekend). My wife had the Lobster Bisque (excellent) Caesar salad (typical), the New York Strip steak (a solid choice) and skipped dessert (nothing appealed to her). We talked for awhile and then went our separate ways. My wife and I, after shopping in the Centrum, where she got her inch of gold anklet from Voyager repaired/replaced, moved on to the casino. The casino on Majesty is very busy and seems to have its fair share of winners. For a while we played nickel slots; we were just not destined to win that night. Second day ratings: Waiter - 4 (Spent time at every table and even scraped the table for us). Assistant Waiter - 4 (This would be his best effort). Head waiter -2 (Did not see him). Cabin Attendant -4 (The toilet was fixed and the room was clean). We went to the cabin to relax and nap until the midnight buffet. The buffet which was on the pool deck was a good assortment of food. If you are expecting that creativity and amount that is available on the bigger ships you will be disappointed. The crowd seemed to be excited and happy with the choices. We can not speak to the food though because we left without eating; food that late would keep us up and we wanted to get an early start. I would also like to address the "trash" problem on the ship; we would run into bottles and glasses and food plates all over the ship, I never saw enough staff members cleaning up and on the flip side I think we should make an effort to move "trash" to where it can be found not to the smallest nook and cranny of the ship. You carried it down there bring it back up. We found our cabin clean and with a Lobster on the bed and went to sleep. Day Three - "I just got propositioned by a lady on a hover round" January 18, 2004 - Weather Albany 31° Cloudy Nassau, Bahamas 81° Sunny Up at six fifteen, again, in the morning and off to the gym. On to the treadmills, we were soon joined by a couple of other people we were treated to a rare view as the gym looks out over the back of the ship and we were backing into the dock in Nassau. As the lady next to me started to falter I hit upon the idea that we six on the treadmills were pushing the ship in to the dock and we had to finish. This seemed to perk everyone's spirits up. We finished docking the ship and moved down to the Windjammer and ate breakfast on the deck. After a quick shower we shot down to deck one and into Nassau. Our first stop was the Straw market where not only did we take most of the vendors by surprise; we were treated to a church service in the front of the market; after all it was Sunday. We took advantage after the service to tour (Most vendors were eating breakfast). We treated the vendors and their merchandise with respect and were able to get not only the early bird special also the first customer of the day discount. We picked up a couple t-shirts, straw hats and dresses for my daughter. After exiting we walked down to the Parliament Square stopping at shops along the way. Then around 10 o'clock we walked to Atlantis, Yes you heard correctly, Walked. It took a while but what a beautiful day and challenging walk. We did get some great photos of the harbor from the top of the bridge. We reached Atlantis and went in marveling at the beauty of the building. We passed through the casino and looked around for the dig. I had read that they were tightening up the areas you could get into if you were not a guest. The dig was $25 per person. We passed on the dig: I know it is most likely worth every penny but we wanted to spend the money on other things, like lunch. We flagged down a cab, you're crazy if you thought we would be walking back, and headed to the Green Shutters pub. Finding the pub closed (it's Sunday) we moved down to Senor Frogs where my wife and I had some Tex-Mex food and watched the festivities. The food was good and the views and people were just a riot to watch. After lunch we decided to go back to the boat and rest by the pool. We collected up our books and headed to the pool. I took a quick dip in the pool and then off to the hot tubs. (Just a note on the only two hot tubs they were not open in or out of the port of Miami, or at night after dinner. I found that very disappointing.) My wife and I were just sitting down to read when a woman on a hover round rolled up and gave us her cards and asked us if we wanted to make more money. It was some kind of scheme I am sure I will be seeing on Dateline (NBC) soon. She moved on but not without giving my wife and me a bad taste in our mouths, which we promptly washed out with strawberry daiquiris. After resting for a while on deck we went down to the Schooner bar to watch the Colts vs. Pats playoff game. An informed and likeable crowd ( With the exception of one over indulgent girl who not only was drinking too much, she let us all know about her 36c's which in the event of the ship sinking could be used as a flotation devices. You know I'm all for being friendly with people but her friends really needed to reel her in) formed and sat and watched undeterred by the drink waiters trying to move anyone who was not drinking along. RCI did provide small cups of goldfish crackers, but like many there I would have drank more if I had some food to go along with it. After a heart breaking Colts loss we dressed and went to dinner. Tonight for the appetizer I had Ox tail soup (Very good), I also had a Caesar salad (good) and the prime rib (Good). I really thought about the turkey dinner. I wanted to try it to have in my review but I just could not bring myself to order Thanksgiving. I had the Brownie Sunday for dessert (good). My wife passed on the appetizer, the Caesar salad (typical), the Prime Rib (excellent) and the Baked Alaska (average; not quite as good as I had hoped). We said good bye to our table mates for the last time after taking some pictures. Final ratings: Waiter - 6 (Spent time at every table and did something special for us with the chef). Assistant Waiter - 3 (Went back to hurried & forgetful, still in training though). Head waiter -1 (Stopped by for his tip) (On Voyager Asif our head waiter was attentive and informed, also willing to help in the main dinning and any other dining space). Cabin Attendant -5 (The room was clean & we asked for red departure tags and he came through). We then spent some time shopping and picking up our pictures. (The photo area is a mad house as they are extremely unprepared for the onslaught of people. I think it has more to do with the space than the staff who was patient beyond belief.) We then went to the final show which was "Ralph" Jeff the Juggler. Jeff Harris "is a uniquely talented performer whose original juggling and comedy show has dazzled audiences around the globe." That is what his website says. I am ashamed to say I heckled the juggler. At the start of his act our cruise director Rico misspoke and called Jeff -Ralph Harris, which threw him off slightly giving the audience an opportunity to get into to his style of act, he took it all in stride and performed a show that I very much enjoyed, and "Ralph if you ever read this review sorry about the flash photo". You had to be there. We finished up the evening with a walk on the top deck. Off to bed. Day Four - "I'll just let them wand me" January 19, 2004 - Weather Albany 10° Snow Showers Miami 75° Overcast We didn't get up to the gym on the last day due to it being closed, but we were up at six fifteen as were a fair amount of guests. We finished packing and showered, headed to the Mikado for breakfast. We had never been to the main dinning room for breakfast, and now we know why. It takes forever for breakfast; the ordering, waiting and with ten at a table it just is so slow. They called four colors while we were waiting including red. We did sit with some nice people from Texas and Atlanta but we should have just gone to Windjammer. After breakfast we picked up our luggage, checked the room one last time and left the ship. We waited for a while in line, then hopped into a cab and sped off to the airport. At the airport we got our tickets and got in line for security. In front of me in line was a girl who had a significant jewelry collection on. She asked the TSA agent if she needed to remove it all and he replied "I'd just let them wand me you'll be okay". The last I saw of her after I got through was a large female TSA agent walking her into a private room with no shoes; no jewelry, in only her under shirt, her pockets turned out and a bewildered look on her face. We moved down to our gate and waited for the plane and a possible bump. We did get bumped again but this time only up to first class for half of the trip home. I never thought I would be disappointed flying first class. We will have to save up for airfare and a cruise some time in 2005-6. My final thoughts on Majesty of the Sea, which is scheduled for an overhaul this spring would be: I believe a cruise is what you make of it and Majesty gives you the chance to make it special. I think the crew could use a boost in the "go out of your way for the guest" column (With the exception of Mustafa). The ship is a little on the tired side but you are only there for three days and you can keep so busy you won't notice. The crowd was diverse with 20 something's mingling with 60 something's with everyone having fun. I am happy to report that the dinning room was full and there was no outbreak of "no tip" flu, the water in the cabin was not brown and no one fell off of the boat. Read Less
Sail Date January 2004
Since we live in Key Largo, Fl. we drove to the pier on Friday. We arrived around 1:30pm and parked in the parking garage which is very safe and easy to access. We then checked our baggage in and proceeded to terminal. There was little ... Read More
Since we live in Key Largo, Fl. we drove to the pier on Friday. We arrived around 1:30pm and parked in the parking garage which is very safe and easy to access. We then checked our baggage in and proceeded to terminal. There was little line and we went thru security in a matter of a few minutes and then proceeded to our check in. They have really come far on this as before it took forever. They check you in by decks now so the line is very short. We went right over to the counter for our deck which was 8. The check in process was very well done and we were handed our sea passes and proceeded to boarding. We got our picture taken and then got on board. The boat was very clean and the crew very helpful. They immediately came over and directed us to the children's program booth where our two boys age 4 and 6 got their muster station bands and papers on what activities were offered. We decided to go eat some lunch in the Windjammer which was pretty good for buffet style. After that we walked around the ship and got ourselves familiar with the areas. The muster drill was not bad this time as our muster station required us to sit in lounge. Dinner that night was great. We had the early seating and no other guests at our table. The wait staff was great with the kids and dinner moved quickly for us instead of the usual hour and half or more. We took the kids to the children's program and headed to the casino where of course we lost. Next day was Cococay but was cancelled due to all of the rain so headed to Nassau. Went to Atlantis on Sunday and the kids as well as us enjoyed it. Overall I think it was a great experience and we had a great time. The only negative was the stateroom. Pretty tight for 4 people and you feel like you are closed in with the beads over your head. Also, they need to do something about the shower curtain as it is very friendly. Definitely will go again for the weekend as it was well worth it. Read Less
Sail Date January 2004
Background information: I'm Robin, my husband Bruce and I are from New York, we are married 26 years and this was our third cruise. We were bringing our 17-year-old Andrew son on his first cruise. Also joining us were our friends from ... Read More
Background information: I'm Robin, my husband Bruce and I are from New York, we are married 26 years and this was our third cruise. We were bringing our 17-year-old Andrew son on his first cruise. Also joining us were our friends from Debbie and Benny from Boston and their 17-year-old son Jason. Pre Cruise: Flew down on American Airlines two days early to see my in-laws who winter in Delray Beach, they drove down to Miami to see us. We did not rent a car, used cabs to and from airport and port, and either walked or used free Metromover in Miami to travel. My friend Debbie and I had booked rooms at the Downtown Hyatt Regency on Priceline some months prior for $57 per night. This is a bit high by Priceline standards but bear in mind it was Presidents' Week and there was a boat show in Downtown Miami. Turned out to be a great bargain. We got rooms on the 22nd floor, city view, the rooms were lovely, no problem getting two double beds to accommodate us and our son. No mention of Priceline whatsoever. Nice dressing area, great hairdryer and lighted makeup mirror, towels and amenities. My sole complaint was that the bathroom (toilet/tub area) is very dark; could use more lighting. Ate a late night dinner at hotel when our friends arrived from Boston, food was good, not badly priced. Went with the in-laws in their car to South Beach Sunday and wandered around, ate dinner with them at Bubba Gump's in Bayside Marketplace. Went at 5:00 on a Saturday night, no problem getting in, great food, good time had by all. Many stores in Downtown Miami within walking distance, and Bayside is only about 10 blocks away by foot. Cruise Check in: Snagged two cabs from Hyatt at about 10:30 and went to port. Checked in very quickly, no problems or lines, we were on the ship by 11:30 at the latest. It was a real breeze, no waiting at all! Found our cabins and ran to Windjammer for lunch before the crowds arrived. Did a tour of the ship, drank my first of numerous BBCs and did some relaxing by the pool before Muster Drill, which was typically boring but necessary, especially given two weeks ago they called it out on this ship at 5am due to a small kitchen fire. Cabins: We had three inside cabins and knew they would be small, which is why we put the 17-year-old boys in their own. Cost me exactly $25 extra by booking me in one cabin, hubby in other, and using two C&A coupons. We just got extra key cards coded for my son and he and I flipped them. Easy as cake. Our travel agent surprised us with $25 credits for the two adult cabins (he had previously sent us wine, which was nice also). This was on top of the $100 in cabin credits I had gotten for booking the two cabins on my Serenade cruise! Nice to have "free" money to play with. Our cabins were three of the 8 inside cabins on deck 7; most of the insides are on Decks 6 and down. I don't know if it was because we were on deck 7, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a safe in the closet! The other advantage to deck 7 was that it was the promenade deck—even though I was in an inside, we were steps away from the fresh air and chairs outside without any stairs to contend with. Cabins were quite small but functional, OK for two people; I cannot imagine 4 in one of those insides. The cabin was a bit run down, torn wallpaper in one spot, bathroom door slightly rusted—I learned how THAT happened after my first shower, which totally ran out of the shower area onto the floor. After two cruises with the nice glass sliding shower door, the shower curtain was a riot! I'm fairly small and it stuck to me every move! We had a hairdryer, worked fine. Our cabin attendant was Murado(?), I don't remember where he was from, he was pleasant, nothing spectacular but did his job and props to him: he managed to keep up with the whirlwind the two 17 year old boys called their home for four days, including making them some hysterical towel animals using their caps, glasses, etc. He got extra tip from us just for pulling THAT off! Appearance of ship: I was truly pleasantly surprised by this, as was my husband, who was convinced we were taking a step into hell after cruising on Voyager and Radiance classes. Everything sparkling clean, obvious fresh carpeting in many areas, no dirty dishes lying around, always someone at work cleaning or fixing something. The ship is getting a total refurbishment in a year, and I hear the cabins will be totally redone, and they will freshen up the rest of the common areas. I also liked the shopping area on Majesty, which was nice and spread out. Nothing beats Explorer's promenade, but I thought Serenade's store area was cramped. Food: The endless Cruise Critic board discussions about "bad food" always surprise me. Considering the ship is feeding over 2,000 people, I think they do a darned good job. The Windjammer is a bit more congested than on the larger ships but it worked fine, and blissfully, it was open post-Galley fire! Food quality was good there although some of the breakfast food (pancakes, French toast) was sometimes cold, and as usual, as on every one of my Royal cruises, I have not been able to get a good piece of melon! Oh well....Also at breakfast, lox (known as smoked salmon for you non New Yorkers!) was missing after the first meal, and I do enjoy that. My one other issue: for the entire trip, the soft serve ice cream machines only had strawberry ice cream, no vanilla or chocolate, and I HATE strawberry! All in all, however, I enjoyed Windjammer. It is divided into two sections; don't stop at the front area, the area further aft is prettier and you have the option of going up a level to find tables. We ate every breakfast and lunch at Windjammer except for one of each meal in the dining room, dinner always was in the Dining Room. The upstairs area of Windjammer also served as the Mast Bar. Pizza and frankfurters and often some sort of sweet are available here into the wee hours, and they had great sandwiches out during sail away. Dining Room: We were assigned to the Mikado on Deck 4, had requested a table for 6 late seating and got it with no problems. Our table was in a nice location, and although the dining area is not as spectacular as on the newer ships, it was still beautiful. Our waiter was Yavuz from Turkey. Suffice it to say he was a little on the odd side. Barely saw him during the meal, although our food arrived promptly with no problems. Then after dinner he would stop by to chat and went on and on, and half the time we had no idea what he was talking about. Just a strange dude. In contrast, our assistant waiter, Carina from Argentina, was truly spectacular. She knew what everyone liked to drink after the first night (anyone who remembered Earl Grey tea for me and English Breakfast tea for my son is amazing), was constantly in attendance, and took care of all sorts of stuff for us. Saw the boys' soda cards the first night and from that point on the Cokes and Sprites kept appearing without asking. Told us all sorts of stories about her family and heritage (Italian/Argentinean) and was quite entertaining. She also got a nice tip from us! Our headwaiter was Wellington from India and he is the best headwaiter I've had. Attentive, friendly, and actually visible; came over and chatted at length with us every night. Our friends were blown away (as was my son) when he took the shrimp scampi out of the shell! As for the food, in general it was great. The RCI menus were exactly the same as on my four night Serenade cruise and I knew what I did and did not like. The first night, however, they had the infamous ranch steak (albeit in a special marinade) and I was in a steak mood, so I cracked and tried it. Not the best. Kudos to the prime rib, the duck (which I asked for nice and crispy and got!), shrimp scampi, shrimp cocktail, escargots, Key Lime Pie, and lots of other goodies. We had one breakfast there (the day we disembarked, as we were in no hurry) which was pleasant, and one lunch, on what turned out to be our sea day, since we did not make Coco Cay. More on that later, but the lunch was excellent. I have to add here that the 2 17-year-old boys went to town at meals. The funniest night was when my son Andrew was eating shrimp scampi with one hand and Fettuccini Alfredo with the other. They also LOVED room service nachos. There were two buffets, a midnight one as we sailed away from Nassau (which was nice) and a midnight chocolate buffet that the adults missed due to total exhaustion but the boys raided. They pronounced it to be outrageous. Ports: We unfortunately had crummy weather, more or less, our entire trip. There was a cold front across Florida and the Bahamas and we landed right in the middle of it. Our two days pre-cruise were OK but not pool weather. Boarding day in Miami was fairly nice and my husband managed a suntan. The day in the Bahamas was overcast. We went in the morning into town and did some shopping, my son got a Casio watch, I got a Skaagen, and he bought sunglasses. We ran back to the ship, had a little snack and were picked up by Stuart Cove snorkeling for their excursion. We took a half hour bus ride to their boat, got to see some local sights (since we had stayed at the Atlantic for three nights a few years ago, we had already seen a lot of Nassau). The water was a bit rocky, it was gloomy and raining on and off and I was a bit dizzy, bear in mind you ARE snorkeling off a boat in the middle of the water! The rocking prompted me to jump into the ocean and try snorkeling for the first time very quickly. I had a ball in the water, and felt much better there. Our friends chickened out, but my husband, the boys and I had a ball. Alas, the weather and 10' swells also cancelled Coco Cay. It was very disappointing but I'm sure the captain was concerned with safety. We actually met with Captain Per in a corridor later that day and he was very pleasant, explained at length why we could not get there, especially with tenders involved. We had been looking forward to this, especially my son, as they have beach volleyball there and he was raring to go (he plays varsity in HS). The ship of course increased activities and did hand out free Screwdrivers and Bloody Marys from 10am-noon by the pool, not that you could sit there without being blown off your chair and into the water! It felt like my Canada cruise....in any event, we compensated, the boys caught up on sleep, had a nice leisurely lunch in dining room, played some games, visited the casino (no luck there), shopped, etc. We arrived in Key West to lovely, 70-degree weather. The ship now has to go through immigration since we were back in the United States, and although it went smoothly, we sat in port until 10:30 until it was completed, which was a bit annoying looking at the beauty outside. We were going to take the Trolley tour but opted for walking. Did the tour of Ernest Hemmingway's house (as I wanted to see the cats!) and walked to the southernmost point. We walked back toward the pier on Duval Street, lost Debbie & Benny to the stores, and the boys went right back to the ship for "lunch, sun, virgin pina coladas and basketball. Bruce and I went in search of the Kino sandal store; if you don't know about them they have a very inexpensive sandal factory and make great flip-flops. Other family members have brought them to me so I reciprocated and bought some for them, and we made our way back to the ship for lunch at the Windjammer. "Our" Carina was working there that day and kept bringing us goodies! After that Bruce went in search of a lounge chair and I went off ship again for some solo shopping time; I didn't buy much but enjoyed people watching and strolling around. I joined Bruce for some sun, bought some photographs, and we showered and got ready for dinner before sailway from Key West. Don't miss that sunset, but watch it outside (Bruce and I watched from the Viking Crown Lounge and apparently the polarization on the windows cut out some of the coloration of the skies). Entertainment: The two production shows were "Wild Wild West" and "The Beat Goes On." Honestly, I had heard the former was not too good, and I agreed, we walked out. "The Beat Goes On" was pretty good and I enjoyed reminiscing with some of the music. Comedian on cruise was Greg Otto. He was hilarious; he did the first night cruise and also a late night comedy act the last night. My son was rolling in the aisles. The first night show also featured "Cowboy Dario El Gaucho," who does a comedy/music/everything else act and is a treat. Also entertaining was Hal Frazier, who did a comedy/singing act beyond explanation. If he's on board, make sure you see him. We also went to Quest (funny, although a bit repetitive the third time around: I really think RCI should consider something new) some game called Liars Club on our at sea day, and Love and Marriage game, which is always funny. My husband loves watching Karaoke and we spent some time watching this. Worth is just for the antics of Bar Waiter Desmond, who becomes part of the act and is hysterical. We didn't do rock wall, much of the dancing scene, bingo, art auctions, spa, not enough time to do everything (hey, I need to sleep, I'm not 22 years old!). Bruce, who likes to exercise, was disappointed by the Gym and pronounced it horrible compare to our two other ships. I assume this will be part of the refurbishment next year. The Cruise Director is Tim, who I thought did a great job. Young, dynamic, funny and truly seemed like he was enjoying himself, as did the assistant cruise directors and other staff. Disembarkation: Alas, it was already Friday morning and time to leave. Since we were in no hurry we had aforementioned breakfast in Mikado, retrieved our luggage, went quickly through customs (remember immigration had already taken place) and were off the ship by 9:00 am. Were at our "Priceline booked $42 a night room" at Embassy Suites hotel at MIA (since we all had morning flights Saturday, we opted to stay by the airport) by 9:30. Rooms were not ready yet (not unexpected) and although this hotel is a great value for the buck (free Managers' Reception at night with drinks, free cooked to order breakfast and free shuttle bus to the airport) there was NOTHING to do around here (it's truly an airport hotel) so we laid by the pool and vegetated until we could get into rooms. Ended up eating both lunch and dinner at the hotel as my son was feeling lightheaded (which we thought was post-motion but found out later was not, as he came down with some sort of bug); there IS a Bennigans fairly close by but aside from that you're really stranded without a car. Got up the next AM and went to airport for our flight back to New York but that's a horror story that I won't go into here, as it isn't cruise related! Final impressions: We knew this wasn't going to be the same sort of experience as cruising on the larger and newer ships, but a vacation is what you make of it and we had great fun with our friends. They got hooked and booked another cruise; the Loyalty Ambassador, Kim, was really nice. There's more action on the larger ships but this one did have a great crew and plenty to keep you busy. I do understand they miss the Coco Cay port often due to tendering problems; keep that in mind. Any questions, please ask me! Robin Read Less
Sail Date February 2004
Background: This is a review of our Majesty of the Seas cruise from February 16-20. Sorry for the delay, I had tried to submit once before but apparently it did not go through! My husband Bruce and I are from New York, we are married 26 ... Read More
Background: This is a review of our Majesty of the Seas cruise from February 16-20. Sorry for the delay, I had tried to submit once before but apparently it did not go through! My husband Bruce and I are from New York, we are married 26 years and this was our third cruise. We were bringing our 17-year-old Andrew son on his first cruise. Also joining us were our friends Debbie and Benny from Boston and their 17-year-old son Jason. Pre Cruise: Flew down on American Airlines two days early to see my in-laws who winter in Delray Beach, they drove down to Miami to see us. We did not rent a car, used cabs to and from airport and port, and either walked or used free Metromover in Miami to travel. My friend Debbie and I had booked rooms at the Downtown Hyatt Regency online some months prior for $57 per night. This is a bit high by online standards but bear in mind it was President's Week and there was a boat show in Downtown Miami. Turned out to be a great bargain. We got rooms on the 22nd floor, city view, the rooms were lovely, no problem getting two double beds to accommodate us and our son. Nice dressing area, great hairdryer and lighted makeup mirror, towels and amenities. My sole complaint was that the bathroom (toilet/tub area) is very dark; could use more lighting. Ate a late night dinner at hotel when our friends arrived from Boston, food was good, not badly priced. Went with the in-laws in their car to South Beach Sunday and wandered around. We ate dinner with them at Bubba Gump's in Bayside Marketplace; went at 5:00 on a Saturday night, no problem getting in, great food, good time had by all. Many stores in Downtown Miami within walking distance, and Bayside is only about 10 blocks away by foot. Cruise Check in: Snagged two cabs from Hyatt at about 10:30 and went to port. Checked in very quickly, no problems or lines, we were on the ship by 11:30 at the latest. It was a real breeze, no waiting at all! Found our cabins and ran to Windjammer for lunch before the crowds arrived. Did a tour of the ship, drank my first of numerous BBCs and did some laying by the pool before Muster Drill, which was typically boring but necessary, especially given two weeks ago they called it out on this ship at 5am due to a small kitchen fire. Cabins: We had three inside cabins and knew they would be small, which is why we put the 17-year-old boys in their own. Cost me exactly $25 extra by booking me in one cabin, hubby in other, and using two C&A coupons. We just got extra key cards coded for my son and I and we flipped them. Easy as cake. Our travel agent surprised us with $25 credits for the two adult cabins (he had previously sent us wine, which was nice also). This was on top of the $100 in cabin credits I had gotten for booking the two cabins on my Serenade cruise! Nice to have "free" money to play with. Our cabins were three of the 8 inside cabins on deck 7; most of the insides are on Decks 6 and down. I don't know if it was because we were on deck 7, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a safe in the closet! The other advantage to deck 7 was that it was the promenade deck—even though I was in an inside, we were steps away from the fresh air and chairs outside without any stairs to contend with. Cabins were quite small but functional, OK for two people; I cannot imagine 4 in one of those insides. The cabin was a bit run down, torn wallpaper in one spot, bathroom door slightly rusted—I learned how THAT happened after my first shower, which totally ran out of the shower area onto the floor. After two cruises with the nice glass sliding shower door, the shower curtain was a riot! I'm fairly small and it stuck to me every move! We had a hairdryer, worked fine. Our cabin attendant was Murado(?), I don't remember where he was from, he was pleasant, nothing spectacular but did his job and props to him: he managed to keep up with the whirlwind the two 17 year old boys called their home for four days, including making them some hysterical towel animals using their caps, glasses, etc. He got extra tip from us just for pulling THAT off! Appearance of ship: I was truly pleasantly surprised by this, as was my husband, who was convinced we were taking a step into hell after cruising on Voyager and Radiance classes. Everything sparkling clean, obvious fresh carpeting in many areas, no dirty dishes lying around, always someone at work cleaning or fixing something. The ship is getting a total refurbishment in a year, and I hear the cabins will be totally redone, and they will freshen up the rest of the common areas. I also liked the shopping area on Majesty, which was nice and spread out. Nothing beats Explorers' promenade, but I thought Serenade's store area was cramped. Food: The endless Cruise Critic board discussions about "bad food" always surprise me. Considering the ship is feeding over 2,000 people, I think they do a darned good job. The Windjammer is a bit more congested than on the larger ships but it worked fine, and blissfully, it was open post-Galley fire! Food quality was good there although some of the breakfast food (pancakes, French toast) was sometimes cold, and as usual, as on every one of my Royal cruises, I have not been able to get a good piece of melon! Oh well....Also at breakfast, lox (known as smoked salmon for you non New Yorkers!) was missing after the first meal, and I do enjoy that. My one other issue: for the entire trip, the soft serve ice cream machines only had strawberry ice cream, no vanilla or chocolate, and I HATE strawberry! All in all, however, I enjoyed Windjammer. It is divided into two sections; don't stop at the front area, the area further aft is prettier and you have the option of going up a level to find tables. We ate every breakfast and lunch at Windjammer except for one of each meal in the dining room, dinner always was in the Dining Room. The upstairs area of Windjammer also served as the Mast Bar. Pizza and frankfurters and often some sort of sweet are available here into the wee hours, and they had great sandwiches out during sail away. Dining Room: We were assigned to the Mikado on Deck 4, had requested a table for 6 late seating and got it with no problems. Our table was in a nice location, and although the dining area is not as spectacular as on the newer ships, it was still beautiful. Our waiter was Yavuz from Turkey. Suffice it to say he was a little on the odd side. Barely saw him during the meal, although our food arrived promptly with no problems. Then after dinner he would stop by to chat and went on and on, and half the time we had no idea what he was talking about. Just a strange dude. In contrast, our assistant waiter, Carina from Argentina, was truly spectacular. She knew what everyone liked to drink after the first night (anyone who remembered Earl Grey tea for me and English Breakfast tea for my son is amazing), was constantly in attendance, and took care of all sorts of stuff for us. Saw the boys' soda cards the first night and from that point on the Cokes and Sprites kept appearing without asking. Told us all sorts of stories about her family and heritage (Italian/Argentinean) and was quite entertaining. She also got a nice tip from us! Our headwaiter was Wellington from India and he is the best headwaiter I've had. Attentive, friendly, and actually visible; came over and chatted at length with us every night. Our friends were blown away (as was my son) when he took the shrimp scampi out of the shell! As for the food, in general it was great. The RCI menus were exactly the same as on my four night Serenade cruise and I knew what I did and did not like. The first night, however, they had the infamous ranch steak (albeit in a special marinade) and I was in a steak mood, so I cracked and tried it. Not the best. Kudos to the prime rib, the duck (which I asked for nice and crispy and got!), shrimp scampi, shrimp cocktail, escargots, Key Lime Pie, and lots of other goodies. We had one breakfast there (the day we disembarked, as we were in no hurry) which was pleasant, and one lunch, on what turned out to be our sea day, since we did not make Coco Cay. More on that later, but the lunch was excellent. I have to add here that the 2 17-year-old boys went to town at meals. The funniest night was when my son Andrew was eating shrimp scampi with one hand and Fettuccini Alfredo with the other. They also LOVED room service nachos. There were two buffets, a midnight one as we sailed away from Nassau (which was nice) and a midnight chocolate buffet that the adults missed due to total exhaustion but the boys raided. They pronounced it to be outrageous. Ports: We unfortunately had crummy weather, more or less, our entire trip. There was a cold front across Florida and the Bahamas and we landed right in the middle of it. Our two days pre-cruise were OK but not pool weather. Boarding day in Miami was fairly nice and my husband managed a suntan. The day in the Bahamas was overcast. We went in the morning into town and did some shopping, my son got a Casio watch, I got a Skaagen, and he bought sunglasses. We ran back to the ship, had a little snack and were picked up by Stuart Cove snorkeling for their excursion. We took a half hour bus ride to their boat, got to see some local sights (since we had stayed at the Atlantic for three nights a few years ago, we had already seen a lot of Nassau). The water was a bit rocky, it was gloomy and raining on and off and I was a bit dizzy, bear in mind you ARE snorkeling off a boat in the middle of the water! The rocking prompted me to jump into the ocean and try snorkeling for the first time very quickly. I had a ball in the water, and felt much better there. Our friends chickened out, but my husband, the boys and I had a ball. After we got back, we were starving, so we attacked the pizza at the Mast Bar. What is it about vacation that makes you constantly hungry? Alas, the weather and 10' swells also cancelled Coco Cay. It was very disappointing but I'm sure the captain was concerned with safety. We actually met with Captain Per Kristoffersen in a corridor later that day and he was very pleasant, explained at length why we could not get there, especially with tenders involved. We had been looking forward to this, especially my son, as they have beach volleyball there and he was raring to go (he plays varsity in HS). The ship increased onboard activities for the day and did hand out free Screwdrivers and Bloody Mary's from 10am-noon by the pool, not that you could sit there without being blown off your chair and into the water! It felt like my Canada cruise....in any event, we compensated, the boys caught up on sleep, had a nice leisurely lunch in dining room, played some games, visited the casino (no luck there), shopped, etc. We arrived in Key West to lovely, 70-degree weather. The ship now had to go through immigration since we were back in the United States, and although it went smoothly, we sat in port until 10:30 until it was completed, which was a bit annoying looking at the beauty outside. We were going to take the Trolley tour but opted for walking. Did the tour of Ernest Hemingway's house (as I wanted to see the cats!) and walked to the southernmost point. We walked back toward the pier on Duval Street, lost Debbie & Benny to the stores, and the boys went right back to the ship for "lunch, sun, virgin pina coladas and basketball." Bruce and I went in search of the Kino sandal store; if you don't know about them they have a very inexpensive sandal factory and make great flip-flops. Other family members have brought them to me so I reciprocated and bought some for them, and we made our way back to the ship for lunch at the Windjammer. "Our" Carina was working there that day and kept bringing us goodies! After that Bruce went in search of a lounge chair and I went off ship again for some solo shopping time; I didn't buy much but enjoyed people watching and strolling around. I joined Bruce for some sun, bought some photographs, and we showered and got ready for dinner before sailaway from Key West. Don't miss that sunset, but watch it outside (Bruce and I watched from the Viking Crown Lounge and apparently the polarization on the windows cut out some of the coloration of the skies). Entertainment: The two production shows were "Wild Wild West" and "The Beat Goes On." Honestly, I had heard the former was not too good, and I agreed, we walked out. "The Beat Goes On" was pretty good and I enjoyed reminiscing with some of the music. Comedian on cruise was Greg Otto. He was hilarious; he did the first night cruise and also a late night comedy act the last night. My son was rolling in the aisles. The first night show also featured "Cowboy Dario El Gaucho," who does a comedy/music/everything else act and is a treat. Also entertaining was Hal Frazier, who did a comedy/singing act beyond explanation. If he's on board, make sure you see him. We also went to Quest (funny, although a bit repetitive the third time around: I really think RCI should consider something new) some game called Liars Club on our at sea day, and Love and Marriage game, which is always funny. My husband loves watching Karaoke and we spent some time watching this. It's Worth it just for the antics of Bar Waiter Desmond, who becomes part of the act and is hysterical. We didn't do the rock wall, much of the dancing scene, bingo, art auctions, spa, not enough time to do everything (hey, I need to sleep, I'm not 22 years old!). Bruce, who likes to exercise, was disappointed by the Gym and pronounced it horrible compared to our two other ships. I assume this will be part of the refurbishment next year. The Cruise Director is Tim Seivert, who I thought did a great job. Young, dynamic, funny and truly seemed like he was enjoying himself, as did the assistant cruise directors and other staff. Disembarkation: Alas, it was already Friday morning and time to leave. Since we were in no hurry, had aforementioned breakfast in Mikado, retrieved our luggage, went quickly through customs (remember immigration had already taken place) and were off the ship by 9:00 am. Were at our internet booked $42 a night room at Embassy Suites hotel at MIA (since we all had morning flights Saturday, we opted to stay by the airport) by 9:30. Rooms were not ready yet (not unexpected) and although this hotel is a great value for the buck (free Managers' Reception at night with drinks, free cooked to order breakfast and free shuttle bus to the airport) there was NOTHING to do around here (it's truly an airport hotel) so we laid by the pool and vegetated until we could get into rooms. Ended up eating both lunch and dinner at the hotel as my son was feeling lightheaded (which we thought was post-motion but found out later was not, as he came down with some sort of bug); there IS a Bennigan's fairly close by but aside from that you're really stranded without a car. Got up the next AM and went to airport for our flight back to New York but that's a horror story that I won't go into here, as it isn't cruise related! Final impressions: We knew this wasn't going to be the same sort of experience as cruising on the larger and newer ships, but a vacation is what you make of it and we had great fun with our friends. They got hooked and booked another cruise; the Loyalty Ambassador, Kim, was really nice, but go see her early if you plan on booking on board to get a cabin credit, as she is totally overwhelmed with people making last minute bookings. There's more action on the larger ships but this one did have a great crew and plenty to keep you busy. I do understand they miss the Coco Cay port often due to tendering problems; keep that in mind, as it was a disappointment. Robin Read Less
Sail Date February 2004
I'm 25 and this was my first time on a cruise and it was awesome! The service exceeded our expectations! All staff were very friendly and made us feel so welcome. At the seated dinners, the personalized attention was great. Since it ... Read More
I'm 25 and this was my first time on a cruise and it was awesome! The service exceeded our expectations! All staff were very friendly and made us feel so welcome. At the seated dinners, the personalized attention was great. Since it was only a 3 day cruise, we never felt bored and had plenty to do at all times. The trip to Nassau on Saturday was fun but one day on an island goes by so quick. One advantage of this cruise vs. other cruises is that we had 24 hours on the island were as most cruises only give you a portion of the day on the island. So we were able to experience the night life on the island as well. You should definitely decide what you really want to do on the island because there are many choices. We wanted to go snorkeling but ended up going to Paradise Island and seeing the Atlantis resort and then chilling on beach for a few hours. The beach was beautiful--white sand, aqua-turquoise water but the tide was too high for me to go swimming and the water was freezing although some people were out there. Afterwards we went shopping at the straw market for souvenir and headed back to the ship for dinner. After dinner we went back out on the island to Senor Frogs to party although it was very "spring break" so we didn't stay very long. Sunday was the day on the ship and it was relaxing. We spent some time in the casino and engaging in other activities on board. But time just flew by and before we knew it--it was time to go back. The best part of the cruise was the food and service. They even upgraded our room! There is just so much food at all times and the quality of food is very good. We couldn't believe how big the lobster and steak portions were! And the best part is you can eat as much as you want! The part that I liked least would be the shows--they weren't all that great. The other thing that put a slight damper on my great vacation was that it was chilly. I suggest if you are going to take a cruise--go between April-Sept. Although it was mid-March, it was windy and chilly. I brought all summer clothes and one sweater and I wished I had brought more long-sleeved clothing and pants. The ocean was really cold as well and it was partly cloudy so you didn't feel the sun too much. Also, we didn't swim in the swimming pools on the deck of the ship because it felt too cold and we hung out in the jacuzzi instead. On the ship and on the island it was quite windy. Bottom line--if you've never been and want a quick getaway--you should definitely check out Carnival's 3 and 4 night cruises! Read Less
Sail Date March 2004
Our cruise was great. This was my third cruise, and the first for my husband. We decided to cruise for our anniversary. The embarkation and debarkation seemed to go a lot quicker and smoother than I remember from the past. Our service ... Read More
Our cruise was great. This was my third cruise, and the first for my husband. We decided to cruise for our anniversary. The embarkation and debarkation seemed to go a lot quicker and smoother than I remember from the past. Our service was great, our room steward seemed a little too eager, but I guess I would be if I lived off of tips also. All of my past cruises were also with Carnival and I must say that I saw some improvements since my last cruise with them in '99. First of all, our dining room servers only had our table and one other, so the service was much better. The entire staff also seemed more friendly and hospitable this time as well. The comedians they had booked for the cruise were great, they were actually funny! The only complaints I had are that when we first boarded the ship and went to our cabin, the whole room smelled like sweat. It was like a giant locker room, just disgusting smelling. I walked around almost every inch of the room using body spray and I didn't notice it any more. Despite the smell, the room seemed to be quite clean. My only other complaint is that the menu on this cruise was EXACTLY the same as it was 3 years ago. You're doing something wrong if you remember the same food after 3 years. Don't get me wrong, it's good and all, but needless to say I expected something different! Overall a great experience and we'll be doing it again as soon as possible :-) Read Less
Sail Date March 2004
Just off the ship today. We were pleasantly surprised by the overall condition of the Majesty. For a 12 year old ship it was in very good shape. I have read other reviews on CC stating that the staterooms were what showed the age of the ... Read More
Just off the ship today. We were pleasantly surprised by the overall condition of the Majesty. For a 12 year old ship it was in very good shape. I have read other reviews on CC stating that the staterooms were what showed the age of the ship. We were in a Junior Suite and other members of our group had interior staterooms on deck 6. In all 3 cases the rooms were in good shape. The JS was much more than we expected and was in excellent condition. The only place I saw real age was in the carpeting surrounding the pool areas. The food was good to very good. We have cruised mostly on Celebrity and there is definitely a difference in the two cruiselines. The service was good and very friendly but also much more rushed than on Celebrity, and much less formal. They give only one salad selection and pointedly try to skip that course if possible. On the final night of this cruise people were in shorts/halter tops, even a swimming suit in the dining room. I didn't care, we didn't pick this cruise for its elegance but because it was a good venue for a short family reunion. Everyone in our group was pleased with the service. The Schooner Lounge quicky became a favorite hang out for our group. The entertainment was definitely the weak point. The first night the show consisted of 1 number by the Royal Caribbean dancers, a unicyclist and a juggler. It was poor at best. The rest of the shows got slightly better reviews, but none of the entertainment was better than just average. The crew on this ship on the whole were very friendly and many had been on the ship for several years. Stephanie, the cocktail waitress in the Schooner Lounge was particularly good. Our stateroom attendant, Irma, from the Philippines kept our cabin in good order and always had a smile on her face. We went to Nassau, Cococay and Key West. We walked around Nassau a bit but had been there before and were happy just being on the ship. At Cococay the wind picked up and by 9AM they had stopped tendering to shore. In Key West we booked an excursion on the Liberty, which is a "Tall Ship" docked year round at Key West. We sailed out of Key West Harbor and into the Gulf of Mexico. This was a great excursion and I highly recommend it. Overall this was a good cruise, 2 of our family had never cruised before and they had a good time. I don't know that we will book the Majesty again, but I would recommend it to someone just looking for a quick getaway. The one BIG negative was the debarkation process. For whatever reason the members of our group were given different color luggage tags so half of our group was out on land by 8:15AM and had to wait for us for almost 2 hours. My husband & I were the last group called and then someone had taken a piece of our luggage by mistake so we didn't actually leave the baggage area until after 10AM. Thankfully the person who took the bag called this afternoon and is shipping our missing bag to us, which is more than Royal Carib. was going to do, all they said was "Fill out this form" which I did and it states right on it that your only reimbursement will be from your own homeowner's insurance if the luggage is not found. Those last 60 minutes in the Miami terminal left a VERY bad taste in my mouth, the staff was very cold, uninterested and frankly didn't care about the missing bags (yes-bags...we were only 1 of several whose luggage was lost) I guess the moral is, if you can carry it on then do it!!!! Overall though we had a good time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2004
This was the 1st cruise for my 2 sons (10 & 13) and myself. We had a great time. I think 5 nights would have been better. We booked transportation from Boca Raton FL to Miami through RCL. The bus was on time and overall a good ... Read More
This was the 1st cruise for my 2 sons (10 & 13) and myself. We had a great time. I think 5 nights would have been better. We booked transportation from Boca Raton FL to Miami through RCL. The bus was on time and overall a good experience. Cheaper than a limo. We ate in the dining room each night. Food was good, boys got to try things that they had never eaten like escargot. Order your steak rarer than you would normally. Our waiters were great. Dinners ay our table rated the cornbread A++. We ate breakfast in the Windjammer- no complaints. The ship was at full capacity but it never seemed crowded. My sons spent a lot of time on the basketball courts and in the kids program. They had a great time and I felt fine leaving them there. We went to two comedy shows which were terrific and the love and marriage show. Took the Rainbow Reef Snorkeling excursion in Nassau. They sell baggies of fish food for $1 on the excursion boat. The boys loved feeding the fish right from their hands. I would do this again. I wish we had taken the jet ski excursion at Cococay...met some people who did and they had a blast. Be prepared to go FAST. I did have the "drink of the day" each day and loved them all. Seemed to go though a lot of clothes - the boys wore those pants with zip off legs for dinner and immediately unzipped them afterwards and took off to the kids area. The room was small but cozy and clean. The shower had amazing water pressure. The staff was friendly and helpful - even came out ahead in the casino! Read Less
Sail Date April 2004
My husband, Mark, and I just got back from a three-day cruise on Carnival's Fascination to Nassau in the Bahamas, out of Miami, Florida. This was our sixth cruise; we've also cruised on Carnival's Jubilee, Imagination, and ... Read More
My husband, Mark, and I just got back from a three-day cruise on Carnival's Fascination to Nassau in the Bahamas, out of Miami, Florida. This was our sixth cruise; we've also cruised on Carnival's Jubilee, Imagination, and Fantasy, and Celebrity Millennium twice. For background info, I'm 27 and he's 29 and we live in Orlando and drive to the ports. On this cruise we were sailing with two male friends, ages 29 and 31, who stayed in a different cabin. Day 1 - Embarkation The first day was simply the embarkation day. We left Orlando around 9:00 and arrived at the Port of Miami around 1:00. We parked in the parking garage first and took our luggage over to the pier. The Port is under a lot of construction but it was fairly easy to find our way around. Got in line and got through embarkation easily and painlessly. No problems there, it was very easy. We boarded the ship around 1:30, first went to see the Maitre d' about our dining reservations, and then all went up to lunch. I didn't find much on the buffet I liked and hit the pizza bar. We went to our favorite spot on the Fantasy-class ships to eat, the patio area on the very aft end of the ship behind the Lido deck restaurant. After lunch we went to our cabins. Mark and I had booked a guarantee cabin and ended up with R32, a forward oceanview cabin on the Riviera deck. It turned out to be a nice cabin location and was very quiet. Our friends were in R18, an inside cabin just a little further forward from us. They didn't have any complaints about the location either. The rest of the day was spent exploring the ship and relaxing. The Fascination is really a beautiful ship. Of course, we experienced the lifeboat drill, but I was surprised by how brief it was. We went to our muster stations, listened to the lecture, and then it was over. I had thought they would make us go outside to the lifeboats, but they didn't. That evening we had the late seating dinner at 8:30 in the Celebration dining room. We had originally requested a table for four so the four of us could eat by ourselves, but we were put at a table for eight. The Maitre d' had said he couldn't move us unless we wanted to change dining times to early seating, so we stuck with it. Our tablemates were very nice, but kept to themselves. Our waiter and assistant waiter both did an excellent job. I'll talk about the food a little later. We were very tired that evening from staying up late the night before and getting up early that day to leave, so we went to bed after dinner. Day 2 - Nassau, Bahamas On the second day we had ordered a room service breakfast before we arrived in Nassau. It came twenty minutes early, which I didn't appreciate because I wasn't dressed. During our time in Nassau, one of our friends wanted to go snorkeling, so Mark and I booked the Blue Lagoon Beach Break and he booked the same tour along with the Stingray City snorkeling. Our other friend stayed on the ship all morning. We absolutely loved the Blue Lagoon excursion! It was so much fun. We met in the Palace Lounge (main show lounge) at 9:00 and set off for the ferry boat from there. There was free rum punch on the way, along with a bar with tropical drinks for $6. We tried the free rum punch but the rum was very watered-down! Mark filled his glass three-quarters full of rum and put just a splash of the fruit punch in and you could barely taste the rum. Upon arrival at Blue Lagoon Island, our friend joined the Stingray City group, and after a little exploring, Mark and I got some Piña Coladas and staked out a hammock. The island was just beautiful, and there were no vendors harassing anyone. There were all sorts of amenities... things for sale, tropical drinks at a bar ($6 for a delicious Piña Colada), hair braiding, swimming, snorkeling, hammocks, picnic tables, basketball, clean restrooms, showers, hiking, calypso music. We dozed in a hammock until our friend got back from snorkeling. He was hungry when we met up with him so we went to the lunch bar. Unfortunately, the prices here were outrageous! They were charging $8.50 for a hot dog or hamburger and $11.50 for barbecued ribs or chicken. Our friend got a hamburger but Mark and I decided to skip lunch. The Piña Coladas were filling anyway. After he ate, he swam some more and Mark and I walked around the island to a stone structure called Blackbeard's Tower. Great views from there! Then we decided to head back to the ship. There were two ferries you could take, at 2:00 or 4:00 and we decided to go back on the 2:00. Back at the ship, Mark and I and our friend met up with our other friend, grabbed some pizza and then got ready to head off to Atlantis. We took a taxi and asked the driver to meet us at the entrance at 7:45. We wandered around the building but did not pay to get into the Dig. Spent some time (and $$) in the casino, then we walked over to a wonderful little restaurant down the road from Atlantis called Anthony's Caribbean Grill. We all had drinks, shopped a bit in a neighboring store, then headed back to the resort to meet our cab. He was there promptly at 7:45. The usual fare is $4 per person and we gave him an extra tip for meeting us. After returning to the ship we had just enough time to change for dinner. That night was formal night. After dinner we explored the ship a bit, wondering why the bars were all empty, and went up to the Lido deck and discovered the deck party. I would say that 75% of passengers (including us) changed into more casual clothing after dinner. Day 3 - Fun Day at Sea On the sea day we woke up and had a late breakfast at the buffet, snagging a couple of boxes of cereal for the next morning since we were going to be doing self-express checkout the next day. We spent the morning wandering around the ship and taking pictures. At lunchtime we decided to eat in the dining room because my husband wanted the ribs. He loves Carnival's ribs. After lunch we went to the pool and watched the pool games, then in the late afternoon went to the casino and won a little money. My husband and I went back to the cabin to take a nap before dinner and ended up sleeping through it. So we had pizza late that evening. They also had the midnight buffet that night. We were tired though and went back to the room to pack and go to sleep. Day 4 - Disembarkation Although I had set my alarm for 6:30, we were awakened at 6:20 by our phone ringing (I hadn't ordered a wake-up call.) So much for sleeping in a few minutes! Got up and finished our packing, then got our friends up and headed to the Palace Lounge for self-express checkout at 7:30. Carnival is trying a new debarkation option in Miami in which if you can carry all your luggage, you don't have to leave it out the night before and can just take it all and leave early on debarkation day. It only took about thirty minutes from the time we left the cabin to the time we were in our car. It was without exception the easiest and most organized debarkation we've ever experienced. Traffic in Miami wasn't too bad, either, as everyone seemed to be going the opposite direction as us. Be careful and lock your doors as you cross the bridge from the port area into the city, because that isn't the safest area of town. Trip Highlights The Ship The Fascination is a beautiful ship. The Coconut Grove restaurant on the Lido deck was my favorite Lido deck restaurant of any ship we've been on, as far as dEcor. The palm trees were such a neat touch! The ship was always kept immaculately clean; and although some of the railings could use a coat of paint, and the windows could stand to be washed, it was a very pleasant ship. The wide variety of lounges, bars, and clubs on the ship could not all be visited in a short cruise, and there is one to suit every taste. The cabin was large enough that we did not feel cramped. Food The food on the Fascination was very good. I would have to say that it is much better in the dining room than it is on the Lido deck. There was always something for everyone on the menu, and everything was consistently good. The appetizers were especially good, and I found myself ordering several of them instead of a salad. Desserts were top-notch. Entrees were generally small, but you could always order more. On the Lido deck, the food was served buffet style and was generally about average quality. It was filling, and they always had a variety of choices, but it wasn't the best food I'd ever had. My favorite food item on the whole ship would have to be the pizza. It was delicious, with a thick, chewy crust and delicious sauce. They offer plenty of spices with which to dress up your pizza - Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese, and crushed red pepper flakes. The only thing I didn't like about the pizza was the amount of cornmeal on the crust - it made the meal very messy. Entertainment We are not people who enjoy Vegas-style shows, so we didn't see the shows any night of our cruise. One of our friends saw the midnight comedy show and said it was very funny. In the lounges there was always someone playing the piano, or a live band, or a DJ spinning tunes. All of the entertainers in the lounges were excellent. Tips We used the prepay option with our tips, and won't be doing that again. Our cabin steward never introduced himself to us and kept moving our things around so that we had trouble finding things. He didn't seem to go out of his way to exceed our expectations. Dining room service didn't suffer, but didn't stand out either. Overall, the trip was very fun. Just remember that how good a time you will have depends on your attitude. Expect minor problems and don't let them ruin your cruise. No vacation is perfect, and we can't expect them to be or we will be disappointed. Go in with a realistic idea of what to expect and a great roll-with-the-punches attitude and you'll have one of the most wonderful vacations of your life. Read Less
Sail Date May 2004
I just returned from a 3 night sailing on Majesty, my first on the ship in almost 2 years. Here are my observations. We had three cabins with 6 travelling. Two were outside on Deck 2, mine outside on deck 8. The carpets have been ... Read More
I just returned from a 3 night sailing on Majesty, my first on the ship in almost 2 years. Here are my observations. We had three cabins with 6 travelling. Two were outside on Deck 2, mine outside on deck 8. The carpets have been replaced on the higher decks, but the lower decks are looking rough and really need to be replaced. They were soiled, worn and faded. Also, there was often a strong sewage smell in the forward section of Deck 2. The public rooms are well maintained and very clean, as are the outside deck areas. There was always someone working to keep things shipshape. We had cabin 8090, with an obstructed view of which we were not advised at time of booking. We looked straight out to a lifeboat. Otherwise, the cabin was typical small RCI space, compact but efficient. Our room steward did a great job for us keeping things clean. I was pleased with the new menus aboard and the overall improvement with food quality. The menus have been redesigned and are very contemporary and attractive. I did not see much of a change in the overall offerings and it was the same theme nights as on previous 3 night cruises: Italian, Captain's Dinner and Farewell dinner. I thought the foor in the Windjammer much improved, with a wider variety of choices at lunch especially. Service in the dining room was very good. ALso they are now serving Seattle's Best Coffee, which is quite an improvement over the coffee previously served. Entertainment was not up to RCI standards on this voyage. The musicians were not of the caliber I have experienced on previous cruises with RCI and I heard the same opinions voiced by other veteran cruisers. There were a lot of kids aboard as well as lot of teenagers. Our hallway was filled with smoke all the time and I had to call the Pursers Desk at midnight the last night as there were a bunch of teens hanging out in the hallway, drinking, cursing and playing loud music. There were children in the hot tubs all day long and the usual problem with the cruise staff not enforcing their own rules. That was the worst part of the cruise. All in all, the cruise was a good value for the price we paid, about 350 per person for the weekend. Read Less
Sail Date May 2004

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