Our itinerary included a red eye flight from Los Angeles, followed by the cruise and an additional 3 nights in South FL. For starters, we flew into FLL rather than Miami to save $$$. My first tip...NEVER take an overnight flight right ... Read More
Our itinerary included a red eye flight from Los Angeles, followed by the cruise and an additional 3 nights in South FL. For starters, we flew into FLL rather than Miami to save $$$. My first tip...NEVER take an overnight flight right before your cruise. I thought this was a genius way to skip a night at a hotel but we were miserable. Ended up arriving to the port at 7 am just to sit around for hours. You definitely should be well rested before you embark of your vacation. I highly recommend SAS transportation for your transfer to FLL to the port. They only charge $15pp and the service is excellent!
Do expect to spend some time waiting in line to pass through security at the port, it's no fun but part of the process. Unfortunately, we missed most of the first afternoon on board trying to catch up on sleep. Although very, very small our stateroom was quite cozy, comfortable, and impeccably clean (5040). We had the choice of upgrading to a larger room with an obstructed view or taking a room on deck 5 with a full view. I'm glad we did. The view and natural light was well worth it. This was my first cruise in an ocean view room, it was so much better than an interior stateroom, especially when your are cruising to a beautiful port of call.
Do take advantage of as many on board activities and shows as possible. The stage shows were just ok. We actually walked out of the adult comedy. However, the Marriage Show, the Quest, and the Battle of the Sexes were hilarious. Make a point to stay up for the Quest!!! Even weeks after our cruise, my husband and I still laugh about the show.
The food in both the main dining room and the buffet were surprisingly great. Even room service was good. We purchased the soda package but then realized it wasn't really necessary. RCL includes iced tea, lemonade and a few other juices. I would skip this unless you really, really like a lot of fountain soda.
In Nassau, we opted for the snorkeling excursion offered at port. The best $40 I have ever spent, really. We were taken by bus to Paradise Island, then to a small cove to snorkel. Afterward, the boat dropped us off in front of Atlantis where we accidentally snuck in to the grounds. Unfortunately, there was not enough time to explore everything they had to offer, that's another vacation all together. We spent a small amount of time shopping near the port and were hugely disappointed in the straw market. Stay away, unless you want to be haggled by vendors selling overpriced stuff that's clearly imported from China.
Coco Cay was mediocre. Lot's of beach activities which is nice if you just want to relax but there is nothing on the island except for beach activities. We purchased the snorkeling package which was a huge waste. The currents are too strong to swim to the areas with a lot of fish, their equipment was bulky and uncomfortable, and the water was too murky because of all the swimmers.
Loved Key West. Lots to see and do but very laid back. Instead of taking a trolley tour, we decided to walk off some of the buffet calories. We walked to the southernmost point, which takes you past Hemingway's home and lot of shops. It was only about a mile each way and allowed us to see most of the same sights as the trolley tour (but it was free).
Since we were staying an additional 3 nights in FL, we rented a car. FYI, car rentals are much less at the Ft. Lauderdale airport than anywhere in Miami. After disembarking, we took the $15 SAS shuttle back to FLL airport to pick up the rental car. This saved a few hundred dollars and was pretty simple. If you are staying over in Miami, I would recommend taking a drive on rt 41 through the Everglades. We stopped at Gator Park for an airboat tour then drove about an hour to Marco Island. Such a beautiful drive with lots of gators along the road.
*Random tip- don't bring a huge bag. Bring two smaller sizes if needed. If your bag is too big they will require you to check it with a porter. It's much easier to take your bags on and off the ship yourself. You won't have to wait for your stuff once you get on board and when it's time to disembark you can quickly walk off the ship early without having to wait until your group is called. Just don't leave your bags out on the last night.
Overall, Royal Caribbean and the Staff on the Majesty were fantastic. Not a fancy cruise but definitely fun and budget friendly. Read Less