1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. Cuba Cruises
  4. Cuba Cruise Reviews

397 Tampa to Cuba Cruise Reviews

Port of Tampa was very easy port to get into and park. We had Priority Boarding went great on the ship and eating lunch in 10 min. Carnival Paradise is a smaller ship but has all the upgrades and easy to get around lines were very ... Read More
Port of Tampa was very easy port to get into and park. We had Priority Boarding went great on the ship and eating lunch in 10 min. Carnival Paradise is a smaller ship but has all the upgrades and easy to get around lines were very short every time. The food was the best that we have had on our last few cruises, it was good very good. The staff was very efficient and the ship was always clean and well maintained. Had an elevator go out but was fixed in one day. The only complaint we had was the same as all our resent cruises. Carnival need to be able to figure out the Dance Club. Either the club was not open or the music was for young people all the time. I would think that the cruise line could look at the age of the cruisers and play music that we can relate to. We understand playing music to all age group. We are smokers and this club is one of the three areas on the ship we can smoke but we either run into a locked door or the music is not something we like, and the DJ will not play music on request at all, if he does not like what you are asking for. Over all we had a great cruise and always recommend Carnival Cruise line to our friends Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
I chose this cruise to go visit Cuba and Key West with my husband. Carnival has found a way to nickel and dime you even when you pay for all such as drink package. No bartenders except in serenity that were eager to serve you. Anton was ... Read More
I chose this cruise to go visit Cuba and Key West with my husband. Carnival has found a way to nickel and dime you even when you pay for all such as drink package. No bartenders except in serenity that were eager to serve you. Anton was awesome and the only one to come back and keep us happy. All other bars you had to go to them and wait! Since they do automatic gratuity you get poor service. Food was ok....best thing was guys cheeseburgers. Tiny cups for water. Soda was flat that was part of my drink package. Not much entertainment during the day. Comedy shows were pretty good. One pool for whole ship. Definitely outdated even though it says remodeled in 2019. Would not recommend. Budget vacation/ budget ship! Very disappointed. We bought alcohol and was told by airport that cruise ship should have given us a bag for carrying it on plane-nope didn’t happen so we lost alcohol at security. Mel the cruise ship director was kind of rude. She didn’t have great things going on to engage cruisers. We could have visited Cuba on Tuesday and spent more time in Key West. Went on Monday to Cuba and all Museums are closed on Mondays...... Had to pay a $75/pp visa to go to Cuba. Our room attendant did a great job! Greeted us by first name every time we saw him! Asked me what I wanted done on a daily basis whether I needed more towels etc. he was always smiling!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Paradise Review – April 2019 5-night cruise from Tampa to Key West, Havana and Cozumel departure on Monday, April 8 and return on Saturday, April 13. This is a long review because we spent several days in Tampa prior to the cruise and ... Read More
Paradise Review – April 2019 5-night cruise from Tampa to Key West, Havana and Cozumel departure on Monday, April 8 and return on Saturday, April 13. This is a long review because we spent several days in Tampa prior to the cruise and have a lot to say about Cuba. We are a couple in our mid-50’s. Pre-cruise Hotel We drove from South Carolina to the Tampa Bay area several days prior to the cruise and stayed at the Hampton Inn next to the St Petersburg/Clearwater airport. The room and hotel were as expected from a Hampton Inn. Our last visit to Tampa we stayed in Ybor City and thought it was great, but we needed to save some $$$ on this trip and the Pinellas Park/Largo area was much cheaper. Tampa pre-Cruise Activities NCAA Women’s Final Four (Downtown): Our original purpose for visiting Tampa was the basketball tournament. We greatly enjoyed the basketball tournament, which was our third. Parking at the Convention Center was reasonable, but the food in Amalie Arena was very, very expensive. We checked what cruises were departing after the tournament ended and this cruise fit perfectly. Busch Gardens (North Tampa): We planned to visit Busch Gardens not sure what to expect. We thoroughly enjoyed the animals, particularly from the Serengeti Express train through the Serengeti Plains exhibit. We rode once in the morning and again in the afternoon and saw different animals in different places. We also were impressed by the massive alligators and the gorillas. Our visit coincided with the annual wine and food festival, which was nice to have good food and drink available for purchase. It is also the Year of Beer at Busch Gardens honoring the founding of the park 60 years ago. Each guest (21 and over) can receive two free beer samples, which we enjoyed. The park maps are not sufficiently detailed and we struggled figuring out where we were and how to get where we wanted to go most of the day. We did not ride any of the huge roller-coasters. We purchased the Tampa Bay City Pass for just a few dollars more than admission to Busch Gardens. Chihuly Collection (St. Petersburg): We decided to purchase a Tampa Bay City Pass because we were spending several days in Tampa. We visited the Chihuly museum in St. Petersburg and enjoyed the exhibit, which is smaller than the Chihuly museum in Seattle. It has mostly similar works of art but some smaller pieces I did not recall seeing in Seattle. Florida Aquarium (Channelside): The City Pass included admission to the Florida Aquarium so we visited before the basketball game at nearby Amalie Arena. The exhibits were nice but not anything we haven’t seen at other nice aquariums. S.S. American Victory Mariners Museum (Channelside): The Florida Aquarium required less time than we planned so we toured the American Liberty, which is a functional WWII liberty ship with exhibits about the role these ships played in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. The ship is moored next to the aquarium between Cruise Terminals 2 and 3. To find it walk between the aquarium and Terminal 3 and follow the signs. The American Victory is not part of the City Pass. Port of Tampa Departure: Could not be easier. Arrived at Terminal 3 slightly before our scheduled time of 11:30. Dropped the luggage quickly (few cars dropping bags) and parked in the parking garage across the street, which had ample spaces available. We pre-paid parking before leaving home and handed the parking attendant our printed ticket and parked on the second level near the elevators. Although we were early, by the time we had competed check-in our group number had already been called. We were still on the ship before many passengers had shown up. We had Guy’s burgers for lunch, at 1:30 we went to our cabin to change and went to enjoy the hot tubs on the Serenity deck before it was crowded. Return: Getting off the ship was quick and orderly and went much faster than the scheduled departure times. We learned that self disembarkation was starting with Deck 14 and we were on Deck 4 (Riviera), so we got luggage tags when they were offered at 10 am on the last day (Friday) and had a low group number (5 out of 28). Customs consisted of checking passports, and asking how many cigars and how much liquor (rum) we were bringing in from Cuba. We were under the duty-free limits and were on our way home. Muster Drill and Sail Away The Muster Drill was reasonably quick and efficient. As usual several passengers did not show and had to be tracked down. We did not need to walk from the muster station to the lifeboats. Sail away takes about two hours to sail down the channel and across the bay to the Sunshine Skyway Bridge and the Gulf of Mexico. Guy’s Burgers The burgers and fries were very good and consistent throughout the cruise, as we have experienced on past cruises. Paris Restaurant (Lido Buffet, Deli and Pizza Pirate) The Lido Buffet for breakfast was good, except for the coffee which wasn’t very good. The Lido Buffet for dinner was only okay, except the ribs on the last night were excellent. The Lido serves a sub-set of the offerings in the main dining rooms. The ice cream was good. The other deserts were only so-so. The pizza was always fresh and tasty, and the line was never long. The Deli offered a large variety of sandwiches and hot dogs for lunch and dinner, but sometimes the line was long. The Lido Buffet was under staffed compared to previous cruises on Fantasy and Elation. Tables were not cleared in a timely manner, many times only one side of the main buffet was open, and only one person was typically working the Deli. We had anytime dining but never ate dinner in the main dining room. Lido Deck Rum Fog and Blue Iguana Bars The bars seemed well staffed on the first day, then appeared to have fewer working and walking the Lido deck for the rest of the cruise. There was a special drink offered on embarkation day in a Tervis Tumbler for about $20 (drink and tumbler) which we thought was the best deal of the cruise. We used the tumblers for water and other drinks for the rest of the cruise. Stateroom Our porthole stateroom on the Riviera Deck was near the bow. The carpet and furnishings were in excellent condition. The bathroom sink and shower were also in great condition. The shower curtain tended to drift into the shower. The water pressure was outstanding, and very hot (the warnings in the bathroom about scalding should be taken seriously). Our room steward did a great job keeping the room fresh while we were away having fun. A towel animal made an appearance every day. There was excessive noise and vibration overnight after leaving Cozumel and on the sea day. It sounded/felt like a heavy metal door being slammed below our cabin two or three times each minute. I assume these were waves hitting our side of the ship since we did not hear the noise the first three days. Casino We visited the slots on Thursday after leaving Cozumel and again on Friday. The casino was not as smoky as previous cruises we have taken. Entertainment and Activities The “80s music” show in the theater was well done and we enjoyed it. The “rock music” show had some undisclosed technical issue, requiring the singers to sit in front of the curtain, and it was boring. The other musical performers at the Atrium Bar and Casino Bar were loud and not soothing to our ears, like our last cruise on Fantasy. The “PG” comedy show consisted of bringing some passengers on stage and asking some questions with the comedian making jokes out of the responses. While I appreciate the improv nature of the show, it lasted about 20 minutes and just wasn’t very funny. We skipped the adult comedy shows. We noticed other activities like trivia contests, bingo, etc. seemed limited on this cruise, like our last cruise on Fantasy. Key West We docked at the Outer Mole/Navy Mole and had to take the “conch train” to the depot near Mallory Square. We docked at noon and left at 6 pm so we only had about 5 hours. We had been to Key West on a prior cruise so we walked down Duval St as far a Truman Avenue, walked over one block to the Hemingway House and Old Lighthouse, then walked back toward Mallory Square and enjoyed some Key Lime Pie. A squall line came through late in the afternoon and it was very windy, delaying our departure by 2 hours. Havana We arrived in Havana on-time at 7 am, because it is only 90 miles from Key West. We booked the “Culinary Traditions tour” though Carnival. We gathered in the dining room and waited for our turn to exit the ship, go though Cuba customs, exchange money and start our tour. We asked for small bills to have money for tips when using bathrooms, etc. The entire process lasted approximately 1.5 hours. Our group of 44 people (a bus load) was one of many leaving about the same time. We stayed up front near the tour guide and had no difficulties hearing or getting the photo’s we wanted. Our tour started with a walking tour of old Havana. Many of the streets in old Havana are cobblestones so they can be difficult to walk on unless you wear comfortable walking shoes. There are also numerous unmarked large and deep holes in sidewalks all over Havana so you must watch were you are walking and stop walking to take photos, etc. Some buildings near the major plazas in Old Havana have been restored (or at least painted) but many buildings outside Old Havana are very run-down looking on the exterior. We then boarded a tour bus for drive by several government buildings and eventually stopping at the cigar shop. After being given the opportunity to buy some authentic Cuban cigars, rum, and coffee we boarded the bus and went to lunch at the former Havana Hilton (known as the Havana Libre since 1960). Lunch is on the 25th floor and the views of the city are amazing. There is a lengthy pre-lunch show, which is probably required to meet the “people-to-people” travel requirements of the tour. We were the second group to arrive for lunch and the prime seats to see the show in the middle of the restaurant were already taken, but it wasn’t all bad because we sat by the floor to ceiling windows enjoying the views and were free to move about as we pleased. If you “volunteer” to get on stage and participate in the show you are rewarded with a free drink made as part of the show, which we did instead of buying drinks at the bar. Lunch consisted of corn soup and Cuban pork, it was good but it was not spicy. After lunch we boarded the bus for the Plaza of the Revolution. This is one area where the classic 1950’ cars (which are mostly taxis for hire now) congregate. Our tour then drove along the Malecon back towards the ship. Our last stop was a shopping area with a restaurant and small shops, including another cigar and rum buying opportunity. This is where we learned how to smoke Cuban cigars, along with a small sample of coffee and rum. We appreciated the short cigar smoking “class” as a uniquely Cuban experience. We also noticed very few Cubans other than the tour guides appeared to speak any English, including most of the hotel staff at our lunch and the two cigar stores where tourists probably visit every day. There is also no Diamonds International or Senor Frogs in Havana. For us all these factors made the day very authentic and unlike any other Caribbean port. Cozumel We arrived in Cozumel at noon and left at 10 PM. We walked from the Puerta Maya Cruise Pier where Paradise and other Carnival ships dock about 2.5 miles to the Thirsty Cougar near the Punta Langosta Cruise Pier “downtown”. After enjoying various adult beverages and a late lunch, we walked back to the ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Embarkation process was wonderful, our arrival time was between 12:30 and 1:00. We arrived around 12:00 and we walked right on the ship. We had lunch on Deck 10 the lido buffet. I found the food to be limited, they have a themed ... Read More
Embarkation process was wonderful, our arrival time was between 12:30 and 1:00. We arrived around 12:00 and we walked right on the ship. We had lunch on Deck 10 the lido buffet. I found the food to be limited, they have a themed lunch/dinner every day. French, Italian, All American, Good Eats. I didn't really care for it. The deli also in the buffet was good I had the turkey wrap it was excellent, hot dogs were also good.Guys burgers were great. We forgot to eat at Blue Iguana Cantina but I heard it was good. I thought the pizza was terrible, it was paper thin and had no taste so it didn't matter that it was open 24 hrs. The ice cream was wonderful also 24 hours. The dining room was closed for lunch, I was not really used to that on the other ships I have been on. We did eat in the dining room for dinner I found the food to be very good but thought the portions were small. I had the chicken breast it was seasoned well and moist but only came with 2 pieces of broccoli or a handful of peas and carrots. My husband had the pork chop and he felt the same and usually had 2. We chose this ship because of the itinerary, Key west, Havana, and Cozumel. In Havana bring toilet paper, towels and hand sanitizer. Go to the lecture about Havana you will learn about pee-pee coins, because you need to pay to use the restroom. We did the easy havana and fusterlandia tour and it was excellent. Raciel with havanaturs was our tour guide we had an air conditioned coach with a bathroom. All ports were amazing we did the ship sponsored tours. Our room was very nice we had a outside view it was perfect for us as we were not in the room much but we wanted a view and I could sit on the ledge and look out the window and look at the water. Our steward was Jay, he introduced himself on the fist day and brought us our bathrobes, and my complimentary water as I was a repeat Carnival cruiser he cleaned our room early when we went to breakfast, our room and the ship were always very clean. Everywhere that you went that somebody was always cleaning something. The shower was small but we did fit. The shower curtain was a joke and when we showered there was a large puddle outside the shower. Found the activities to be limited but that was fine because we were off the ship or eating most of the time. We did the trivia and trivial pursuit we had a great group of people. I was very impressed with the debarkation it was extremely well organized, we were off the ship and in our car on the way home in half and hour. The elevators were inadequate, so ended up taking the stairs most of the time, so we felt less guilty about the food we ate, because we burned it off going to the next level of the ship. Overall we had the best time and we would go again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise because the ship was sailing out of Tampa and was going to Havana. We are avid cruisers and have sailed out of Tampa before. This trip provided us with opportunity to visit with family in the Tampa area and to go ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the ship was sailing out of Tampa and was going to Havana. We are avid cruisers and have sailed out of Tampa before. This trip provided us with opportunity to visit with family in the Tampa area and to go to Cuba . Embarkation is Tampa is usually better than Port Canaveral and this proved no exception. We also had FTF for the first time. THE GOOD DINING ROOM -----our experience here was not just good it was excellent! Ayu and her staff were the best that we have ever had. The staff shows were fun and the food was better than on the Breeze. At times it was very good. We ate all of our breakfasts and dinners in the Dining Rooms. Dinners were Early Dining in the Destiny. The décor is modern, with no tablecloths(except for elegant night). I liked it. Bacon, Hash Rounds and eggs cooked your way were the best. Pancakes were rubbery and the cereal crusted French toast at brunch was terrible. CABIN-----Spacious, modern and clean with new features such as soft close drawers and USB ports. However, only small bench at desk and no other seating. Our cabin R35 was noisy with the bow hitting the waves often. STAFF------This is the friendliest staff that we have encountered. EXCURSION------Ship excursion, Easy Fusterlandia in Havana was the BEST that we have had. Our group of 7 all thought that it was excellent and the highlight of our cruise. It included a professional show with music and dancing ; we also had a gourmet lunch with Mohito and wine included. CASINO-----The casino was small but had all new machines. The BAD KEY WEST--Getting off of the ship in Key West was a total disaster(in my opinion) Since the ship docks at the Navy Pier, everyone has to be shuttled into town. The halls were jam packed with people and you could not get an elevator. It was the worst that I have ever experienced. ELEVATORS---extremely slow PIZZA----In my opinion, it is just plain bad and not worth waiting for. This has been true of the pizza on my last 3 carnival cruises. They need a new recipe and a new system. THE UGLY--- THE ATRIUM---the atrium and promenade, in my opinion are just plain ugly! The brown on brown and mustard colors are dark and depressing and the first impression as you board is not a good one. It screams old and ugly! Overall we enjoyed our cruise because we were with family and seeing Cuba was awesome. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
First off embarkation and debarkation were a total breeeze. Everything went smoothly and getting off the ship in Cuba and through customs was about a 10 minute process. Everyone was extremely organized. I have read other horror stories ... Read More
First off embarkation and debarkation were a total breeeze. Everything went smoothly and getting off the ship in Cuba and through customs was about a 10 minute process. Everyone was extremely organized. I have read other horror stories about going through customs in Cuba and in my experience they were all exaggerations. The upgrades to the states rooms were well thought, as we all know outlets are usually an issue in older ships. There were four usb plugs in my interior room which was spacious with plenty of closet and storage space. The ship itself is a little quirky but I got the hang of it. I am not a fan of a ship that you can not walk straight through (it’s a minor inconvenience and mainly something you adjust to after the first two days on board) the atrium is beautiful but has a lack of seating. This ship also has one pool which wasn’t an issue on our cruise but I can imagine it being packed on a cruise with more families/children. Food overall was great. Guys and blueiguana are my go to for lunch on this ship as the lido deck is more limited than other larger ships. Dinning room service and meals were some of the best I have had. The one thing that fell flat was the pizza. Carnival usually has the best pizza and it’s something I enjoy having late at night once the day is wrapping up but there was something so off about the pizza on this ship. Had it once and didn’t bother trying it again. The standout port on this trip and the reason I even booked it was Cuba. I mentioned above reading several “horror” stories of getting through customs in Cuba and either those were inaccurate or Cuba and the cruise line have learned how to stream line this process. You will have to fill out your visa which carnival gives you at embarkation. If you’re not sure how to fill it out or want to make sure you do it correctly guest services can give you an example of a complete visa or it will be in your fun times printout the day before you arrive to Havana. We booked an excursion through carnival. Culinary traditions and Cuba. It was hands down the best excursion. Our tour guide Viviana made the excursion she was informative and answered everyone’s questions. We started with a walking tour then drove down the Malecón. Had an amazing lunch at the Habana Libre hotel with a band and dancers. From there we went to plaza de revolucion, took pictures with old fashioned cars before finishing our excursion with shopping and a Cuba pairing of cigars, coffee and rum. If you’re thinking of going to Cuba do it and do it now. Cuba is changing that much is obvious and if you want to see it before it does don’t wait just go. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We did this cruise via a casino coupon and we upgraded to a Junior suite from an inside room . Mistake but I will talk about this in my cabin review. We were two couples in our early 40's and my single friend in her early ... Read More
We did this cruise via a casino coupon and we upgraded to a Junior suite from an inside room . Mistake but I will talk about this in my cabin review. We were two couples in our early 40's and my single friend in her early 40's. The single friend was a first time cruiser and she loved it! The rest of us have been on 5 or 6 other cruises and thought it was up there in our favorite 2. We didn't go in with huge expectations and maybe that is why we had a blast. Embarkation was a breeze. Because I upgraded to a Suite we had priority boarding which meant a really short line compared to the huge line for everyone else. They will let your non suite friends get in the short line with you. We were there at noon and on the ship by 12:20. We all bought the drink package and thank god! We like to drink and some of them got cut off by midnight because they reached their 15 drink max. But hey, drinks get warm, you set them down, you may not like one, they still count so we were glad we bought it. Lunch on the Lido deck we all chose guys burgers and fries and they were all great. We hung out all day by the pool, in the casino, walking around etc. We missed going under the sky bridge in Tampa as we were in the casino (woopsy) . Anyway this boat rocked alot more than other cruise ships I have been on. Sometimes you noticed it, but I just tried to not look out the windows as we moved and I was generally fine. I am also very sensative to sea sickness and I never heard anyone else complain about it. We met for early 6pm dinner in the main dining room Destiny. We sat the 5 of us and 3 lovely ladies from Virginia. Our two waiters were great and our drinks and apps were on the table in 5 min. All our meals in the main dining room were very good! we did all pay $20 extra one night and got the filet and lobster and it did not disappoint. Day 2- arrive in Key west at noon, I really wished we got here sooner as it is very close to Tampa???? I was confused why the itinerary didnt allow more time at this port. Anyway we had a few cocktails on board and waited for the masses to fight their way off. We walked off at 12:50 ish and no lines. It rained all day in Key West but we did a little bar hopping and had fun anyway. Irish Kevins was for sure our favorite spot with the live singer/comedian guy. Got back on the little trolly thing around 3pm and went back to the ship. I will definately be back in Key West as it wasnt nearly enough time here. Got back went to casino (after we were like 12 miles out of course) and made it to the main dining room again for dinner. I say made it because it was a long day of drinking and some people wanted to nap! Food great again! Day 3- woke up around 8am, some ate breakfast (my husband and I don't really eat breakfast) Waited for most to get off the ship in CUBA, we got off around 11 am with absolutely no one in line. Customs took 30 seconds as did money exchange. Just to give an idea of how much you will need in Cuba, most of us took our $80 US and it was too much (for what we did). First of all DO NOT get suckered into buying an excursion if you want to just walk on your own!!!! Carnival will try and tell you that you have to check off "people to people" and book an excursion. We being in Cuba last year knew to check off "support the cuban people" option and you can totally just walk off. We walked to the main square accross from the ship and you will get a few locals asking if you want to pay $1 each and they will walk you around. We said no, but one guy seemed to never leave so what the heck we let him walk us around. He took us to a local John Lennon bar (dive bar but very cool!!) we all go cubra libras (rum and cokes) and were surprised it was $10 a drink!! We had one, felt very buzzed and moved on to the next stop. We walked through beautiful streets, saw the market, other squares, local people living life. It was great. Ernest Hemingway bar right near the port was our fave as it had live cuban music and here a round of drinks for 5 people was $7.50 US. Or $7.50 CUC. Totally cheap and fun here. We danced and walked around some more. We all tipped our guy $25 US and he was more than happy I am sure. Got back on the boat and only 2 made it to dinner.... Day 4 - Cozumel- We arrived at 12:45pm to port and we chose again to wait an hour before getting off to avoid the crowd. We had booked El Cid's for the twilight day pass as our ship was here 1pm to 9pm. No other day pass resorts were offering this late day pass. It was $65 each I think?? MAKE SURE you bring the printed piece of paper with your reservation or they will make you print it at the hotel. We had drinks, food (good food) towels, pool, snokeling, all included. It was a fun day! The shopping area right a the ship is awesome, I thought it was beautiful clean and lots to do. We were back on the ship around 6 as we are wimps of the sun and apparently cannot drink too much in the sun. Day 5- day at sea, usual activities, silly games by the pool, lots of food.... I dont really know as I was burnt from Mexico and did not hang around outside. We were mostly hanging around the casino area/American bar. Now 3 of us were smokers and even as a smoker I will say that this small one side of the bar and in the casino were always VERY smoky.. The air suckers in this area seemed to not work. This was also the area that they had the trivia games which we LOVED!! So much fun. But dang do something with the smoking vents! CASINO!!!!- Ok we hung out here ALOT!!! Like every day for a long time especially at night. We usually go to Greektown Casino in our hometown near Detroit. We usually hit at greektown pretty much every time we are there so we think it is the loosest best slots in the world lol . This casino was pretty close. It is small but it pays good!!! Every single time you sat down people were hitting like crazy! My husband probably won $1000 a day on slots easily. I couldnt believe it . I loved playing roulette with our group. I won one of the pong games in the casino where they called my name and I had to throw one out of ten ping pong balls into a gift bag with money on it. I won $75 it was fun. Overall the wait staff was fantastic, you always had a drink in your hand, we never waited once at any of the bars nor in the casino. Dinner service was fast, we never waited more than 10 min for dinner. I couldn't believe we were on the same cruise that people were ripping on the slow service and crappy food. We did not think this at all. Look , don't expect Ruth's Chris style meals, expect more like outback or Texas Road House lol. Then you will not be disappointed. This boat is small and therefore you won't get lost and everything is easy to get to. Having said that it is small and can sometimes feel like there is not much to do. There is not much craziness going on near the pool, which I like sometimes. We NEVER had a problem getting a chair, there were never any big drunks partying like it was springbreak. There was no more than 20 kids on the whole ship. It was just a great cool crowd of people. Cabin review is next.... Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Our group of 5 made a last-minute decision to book this cruise, and we grabbed what seemed to be one of the last 2 or 3 cabins available about 2 weeks before departure. A few days later, we then added another cabin for 2 grandparents who ... Read More
Our group of 5 made a last-minute decision to book this cruise, and we grabbed what seemed to be one of the last 2 or 3 cabins available about 2 weeks before departure. A few days later, we then added another cabin for 2 grandparents who wanted to join as well. I was shocked that our family of 5 (mom, dad, and kids ages 14, 11, and 7) would be able to fit in one cabin, but we did. We would have happily booked a second cabin if it were possible, but it wasn't; certain cabins are apparently designated for certain sized groups, even though I would later find out that all of the cabins (except for the suites) are essentially the same size. For example, there was a period of several days where we couldn't add the 2 grandparents because the only availability was a 5-person room, even though we told Carnival on the phone that we'd pay for 3 additional "phantom children" in that room if necessary (the kids were only $100 or $200 extra each). Luckily a 2-person room later opened up. Embarkation was a breeze, however I was surprised that most of the employees at the port were not very friendly, except for the porters -- who were very nice. Maybe the other employees were tired by the time we arrived at 12:30pm from having to deal with another cruise's disembarkation that morning, followed by our cruise embarking in the afternoon - but whatever the case, it left me wondering what the level of service was going to be on the cruise. In the end, the embarkation process was very easy, and the crew on board ended up being exceptionally nice. Because we were taking a private tour in Havana led by a Cuban tour guide, we filled out our affidavits by choosing "People to People" under option 1, and then "Support of the Cuban People" under option 2. The cruise itself was fine (2.5 out of 5 stars), but our family probably wouldn't do it again. The Negatives were: *It was very much a Spring Break cruise, with lots of families (like ours) and lots of people in their 20s. During the embarkation day and the 2 sea days, the ship was very crowded. The buffet restaurant, the pool, and the main common areas were almost unmanageable. We tried to join one of the games (a Hasbro trivia game) on the first night, but there were over 100 people who showed up, and the moderator told everyone to split into 4 teams - meaning 25 people per team who would be answering trivia questions; and so we wound up not joining. It got to the point that although I wanted to try the various trivia options and other games each day, we didn't because it was just too crowded. The only thing that wasn't really crowded was the casino (which was nice). *I was disappointed with the prices of most things. Eg., the wifi was expensive and limited to just a single device, and there was no free way to use phones among friends or family members while on board (friend chat was $5). It seemed that everything was an attempt to nickel or dime the passengers. E.g., the Build-a-Bear event was $26 per bear. *The bingo was outrageously priced, and the prizes were very low in comparison to the amount of money Carnival must have collected from card sales - what a cash cow for Carnival. We paid over $100 for 3 of us to play; there were probably 300 people in the room who each paid $30-40 to pay. The 3 prizes ended up totaling $1,000 -- and even if the last winner had achieved a black-out on their card in 49 numbers or less and therefore ended up winning the big prize of $2,000, that still would have been only $2,700 in prize money -- compared to over $10K in board sales for that single session. We did not end up playing the next 2 sessions of bingo. *The food did not meet my expectations. The buffet food was generally unappetizing, and the buffet always seemed to be crowded - with very long lines. I couldn't manage to get pizza during the entire cruise. I finally managed to get a taco salad my last day when the line disappeared for a few minutes, but the food was underwhelming. The dining room was much better, but again, not what I would have expected from the dining room. I thought the quality of the dining room food should have been what was in the buffet, and the dining room food should have been better. The boat doesn't have any specialty restaurants (except for the captain's dinner on a couple of the nights), but we knew that going in. *On the first day and on the 2 sea days, there were chunks of time where our family was left wondering what to do. There weren't a wide array of activities to try or sample. The Positives were: *The 4 Cuba lectures by Heidi Siefkas were incredible. She really enhanced the entire Cuba experience. *Camp Ocean was great for my 7- and 11-year-olds. They went there for a few hours most of the days and had a great time. I was disappointed that during the last sea day, it was closed from 2:30pm until 7pm -- which you would think would be prime time for it to be open. *Carnival waterworks (water slides and splash pad) was fun, but we managed to go only during the Cozumel port day, when most everyone else was off the boat. The swimming pool was very small for the number of people, and as mentioned, it was completely unusable except during the 2 port days because it was so crowded. But on the Cozumel port day, we had a blast using it. *The staff was so incredibly nice - I don't think I saw anybody without a smile or a kind word on board. *The musicians, the production shows, and the comedians were good. Not great by any means, but very enjoyable for the whole family. *Guy's Burgers were excellent. *The buffet offered a vegan burger at every seating - which was much appreciated by the vegan member in our group. The dining room was also excellent about accommodating vegan requests (in advance), and all of the vegan food was apparently delicious. *The Port Day in Havana was awesome - and it was the real reason we chose this cruise. What an opportunity to spend a full day in Havana. (The official shore excursions were outrageously priced, and so we wound up getting a private tour for about 20-25% of the cost.) *The Port Day in Cozumel was great for our family because we stayed on the ship (except for a couple of hours) and had run of the place to ourselves. It was a fun time to use the pool and eat in the dining room without fighting the lines. The Neutrals were: *The boat was quite small, which was a positive and a negative. It was nice to be able to get anywhere in less than 5 minutes. But because it was so small, the ship felt very crowded most of the time. The elevators were very slow except on the 2 port days, and so we took the stairs most of the time. We learned to get to the shows, etc. at least 15-20 minutes in advance to make sure we got a seat. We definitely felt movement from the ship in the water, but some Dramamine helped us from having any real problems. *The stateroom was fine. Most people say that the only thing you do in your room is sleep, and so who cares if you sleep 5 in a single room. Well, that would have been true if there had been more uncrowded activities to try on board. As it was, we did spend some chunks of each sea day (and the first day) in our room, which was quite boring. But at the same time, I don't think we needed a second cabin for our family - the one cabin worked just fine for our family. Disembarkation was very frustrating until we actually got off the ship and into the terminal. I couldn't believe how disorganized things seemed on board. Surely there is a better way to get people off the boat without having them wait in line for 30-45 minutes dragging their bags. Once we actually got off the ship, the process was very easy, and the employee at the port were incredibly friendly (as compared to the employees on embarkation day). Some tips: *At Havana, the passengers with the official shore excursions get to leave the boat first, and the others have to wait. So although our ship arrived at port at 7am, our particular group did not get to leave the boat until about 9:30am. After going through immigration and changing our money, it turns out the 10am meeting time with our private guide was perfect. If you're not taking an official shore excursion, make sure you go to Deck 9 on the morning of Havana port day to get your disembarkation sticker. There are about 100 stickers for each letter of the alphabet; and starting at about 6:15am, they start giving away the stickers, starting with the letter A. One person from your group can go to get the stickers for the whole group. I showed up around 7:30am and got Letter L for all 7 of us. Had I been a Letter A sticker, I would have disembarked at about 8am. As it worked out, Letter L was just fine, as it allowed us to sleep in a bit, and still get breakfast on board before getting off the ship. *We loved the Your Time Dining option rather than the fixed-time dining. Some nights we ate dinner right at 5:45pm so that we could make the 7:15pm show, but one of the nights we didn't eat until closer to 8:30pm. It was nice to have the flexibility. *The library was well stocked with board games (Battleship, Monopoly, Cranium) and books, but no playing cards. *We ended up using the stairs most of the time given that the elevators were so busy most of the time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Cuba was one of the few places we had not visited in the Caribbean. That was rectified January 2019 on a five night cruise aboard the Paradise which proved to be an excellent overall experience. This ship was easy to navigate and not ... Read More
Cuba was one of the few places we had not visited in the Caribbean. That was rectified January 2019 on a five night cruise aboard the Paradise which proved to be an excellent overall experience. This ship was easy to navigate and not crowded like larger ships tend to be. Recently refurbished the public spaces and our suite were clean and bright. We had G3, one of two Grand Suites and the views and serenity was fabulous from Deck 14. Only complaint was the back cushion on sofa bed was easily toppled over and still would have loved a coffee maker like Carnival used to have in higher end suites. The food in the main dinning room was above average and offered wide choices. Staff throughout were friendly and helpful. Major drawback was lack of information regarding Cuban Visa procedure pre-cruise in a timely fashion, not detailed to week before and while the $75.00 fee per person was typical, it should have been clearly stated that the charge would be put on your room account. Both embarkation and debarkation were easy and painless. TIPS: Exchange US dollars for Canadian dollars or Euros pre cruise and receive a much better exchange rate at Havana Terminal Exchange. Also much better and personalized old car tours of Havana can be arranged via the internet (highly recommend Old Cars Havana) prior to the ship and was literally 1/3 longer and 1/2 the cost of Carnival offered excursion. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We chose this cruise for two reasons: we wanted to visit Cuba, and the ship was sailing out of Tampa, a short drive from my home. Just for a point of reference, I've previously taken 20 or so cruises on many cruise lines and am not ... Read More
We chose this cruise for two reasons: we wanted to visit Cuba, and the ship was sailing out of Tampa, a short drive from my home. Just for a point of reference, I've previously taken 20 or so cruises on many cruise lines and am not loyal to any particular line. The first hurdle was getting around construction around the port, but we figured it out and got to our terminal around 10:30. We had purchased FTTF so there was no line to wait in, but the people who were checking us in were a bit confused about new procedures in place having to do with Cuban requirements. At one point there were five associates across the desk trying to get it right. It was okay, just surprising that there was such confusion. We were directed to the FTTF waiting area, and before long we were on the ship, dropping off our incidentals and seeing our cabin. We had an oceanview cabin on Main deck. It was quite small, but functional. I mostly missed surfaces to lay stuff on. The beds were comfortable, the shower provided a strong flow and lots of hot water, and it was quiet around our cabin, so that was fine. Dining was just okay. Some food was delicious, such as the bbq spare ribs, the dinner rolls, the wonderful layer cakes in the buffet, the fresh made to order omelets. Otherwise it was food that was served to me and I didn't have to clean up, so I'll take it! The service in the dining room was quite good. We had anytime dining, and there was generally a little bit of a wait, just enough to have a cocktail in the library or the USA bar. Strangely enough, even during dinner times, there was no service in the USA bar directly adjacent to the Elation dining room. We ended up not participating in many activities. They just didn't interest us. We did not care for the decor of this ship, as it was quite dark and undefined. Also, the flow was not so good. The highlight for sure was the port of Cuba, though there were issues getting off the ship. We had a private tour booked for 10 am, but we did not realize that to get off the ship you first had to go to Deck 9 to get a sticker with a letter on it which determined the place in line to get off. We were not alone, and many people did not get off in time to join their group. This did not apply to tours booked through the ship, but private tours only. My daughter and I had booked through Blexie tours, just the two of us with a guide and a driver (a 1955 Chevy BelAir), partly walking and then driving all over Havana....best tour ever. We did not get off the ship in Cozumel, as we had been here several times. Given an option, I would not necessarily go on this particular ship again, but for the itinerary I would. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Always wanted to go to Cuba and I prefer the smaller ships and the price was good and right after the holidays I hoped the ship would not be crowded and not too many kids which turned out to be correct on both counts. The dry dock had ... Read More
Always wanted to go to Cuba and I prefer the smaller ships and the price was good and right after the holidays I hoped the ship would not be crowded and not too many kids which turned out to be correct on both counts. The dry dock had the ship looking great and the crew was really great. Embarkation was so quick and smooth than any other port I have been at, I was on the ship a little after 11. I was E187 inside room and very nice and never did hear any noise from restaurant above my cabin. Food in main dining room had no taste so much better at buffet which I prefer anyway. I Still have no idea why everyone loves guys burgers but I still can't see the attraction. There was a singer on the ship, Emma Jude, who was very talented and enjoyed listening to all the live music on ship. There were very few announcements from cruise director which I really enjoyed. I spent most of the day on the serenity as wind was less noticeable there. They had tv's at all the bars on national championship game and nfl playoff games and there was crowds at those venues. Departure was also very quick and wish every port was as good as Tampa. Did notice cutbacks on food and salad bar fixings have been really cut back on but I always had plenty to eat. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Boarding in Tampa was quick and easy. They were basically waiting on people to check in at about 1:30 when we got there. The cruise director Patricio was fantastic. The live music, not so much. The DJ was great at the pool but then ... Read More
Boarding in Tampa was quick and easy. They were basically waiting on people to check in at about 1:30 when we got there. The cruise director Patricio was fantastic. The live music, not so much. The DJ was great at the pool but then sometimes a band would play and it was essentially "island music" background music from a keyboard. They didn't really sing and certainly did not get the crowd into it. The band name was something like Umba. All of the activities like trivia, belly flop contest and karaoke were all awesome. Dinner in the dining room was fine. As usual, they are slow on bringing bar drinks and soda so its always better to fill before you go in. Especially slow for soda at breakfast. The couple times we ate in the Windjammer it was kinda cold. It would have been nice if there were more freestyle soda machines (there is one on 4 and one on 12 I think it was). The ports were fantastic. Key West was fun (we took the Hop On Hop Off trolley). It was Fantasy Fest!! Havana was amazing and quite an experience. It took about half hour to get through immigration. We exchanged $180 ($65 CUC was for our tour) and we did not have enough for souvenirs after lunch and giving various tips and buying a couple things in the City so we had to scramble at the port to exchange more money. My advice is to exchange well more than you think and then just exchange any you don't need back. There are plenty of tellers to exchange back when you are ready to go back on the ship. In Cozumel we did the semi sub reef explorer which was worth the money, and then we took a taxi to Money Bar to snorkel and hang out. This was a great trip. Yes the ship is old and yes the rooms are small, but you're on vacation! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was a first time cruise for some of my family members. There were 5 women and one of them was my grandmother who is 79 years old. We were looking for a short getaway that would provide a good time. The excitement of being able to ... Read More
This was a first time cruise for some of my family members. There were 5 women and one of them was my grandmother who is 79 years old. We were looking for a short getaway that would provide a good time. The excitement of being able to visit Havana Cuba was the highlight of our trip. We did not purchase the excursion from the crew ship because we felt safe enough to pay a taxi driver to give us a personal tour. I will suggest doing a horse-and-buggy because it seemed a lot safer. They did have a currency exchange area as soon as we got into Havana Cuba that was helpful. I wish I understood a little better the ratio of Cuban to US dollars. We also took the beach tour in Mexico,it was totally overrated. Would not recommend the Mayan beach door. Although this was an older ship with NOT a lot of entertainment the cruise ship crew was the MOST AMAZING ever. These group of people truly made our trip so awesome and made us forget about the lack of entertainment and amenities the ship didn't have. From the AMAZING bartenders (Carlington/Damion/Courtney/Denzie/ Marvin/Clive) to DuMeing in guest services to Mihai ( the beverage manager) and Gede and Jan in the dining area they were amazing. They made this cruise one of the most memorable ever. I hope they know the positive impact they had on our group. I truly hope and pray that Royal Caribbean will make them aware of how pivotal their role was to the fun the ladies from Ohio had on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because of the stops in Key West and Havana. We were somewhat leary because of the reviews that we had read over the last year. My wife and I have cruised previously and never had a bad experience. This one was the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the stops in Key West and Havana. We were somewhat leary because of the reviews that we had read over the last year. My wife and I have cruised previously and never had a bad experience. This one was the same. Yes an older ship but in good condition. It was clean, the food was good (main dining room) and the staff by inlarge were terrific. The boarding and getting off were easy and Tampa was a great port to sail out of. As far as excursions we did the Hemingway Tour in Key West, booked our own tour with Old Car Tours in Havana and an excursion in Cozumel. The walking tour guide in Key West was horrible as he wouldn’t shut up and the tour said Hemingway’s house and Sloppy Joes bar where Hemingway hung out. The guide took us on a 11/2 hour walk through some residential areas on the way to Hemingway’s. When we finally got to Sloppy Joes he said, there it is and left. Our car tour of Havana was excellent and 1/3 the price that the cruise ship charged. The excursion in Cozumel was ok. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Overall our cruise was a fun 4 day getaway. Kudos to RCI for their smooth and fast embarkation and disembarkation during the entire cruise. At first I thought it was a fluke that it went so well, but as the cruise went on, it became ... Read More
Overall our cruise was a fun 4 day getaway. Kudos to RCI for their smooth and fast embarkation and disembarkation during the entire cruise. At first I thought it was a fluke that it went so well, but as the cruise went on, it became apparent that the process was well managed. Our cabins were ready before we finished lunch and when we got there, so were our bags. The Majesty is an old ship and shows signs of wear rust. We were in cabin # 8072, small but comfortable. Dining was typical cruise ship fair and though we rarely do buffets, the Windjammer was very good for breakfast and lunch. The main dining room was ok but portion sizes almost made you want to go for a snack later. We did not do any of the shows but the bands were pretty good. Our cabin attendant, John, was super and took great care of us. Key West was a great port but 4 hours didn't cut it. We did the the ships Old Town Trolly Tour, shore excursion and was worth the money, however, it didn't allow enough time to really see and enjoy all Key West has to offer. A visit to the Key Lime Pie Company is a must. Our day in Cuba was awesome. We were off the ship, through the Cadeca money exchange and in the plaza of the Convent of St. Francis of Asisi, across from the port with in 30 minutes. We booked a third party tour with Geikis of "Nosotros Cubaneamos". Our tour guide, Abdel, was awesome as was our driver and his 1955 Ford Ranch Wagon. On our nearly 7 hour tour, we were taken to several interesting sites and provided much history, particularly on the current conditions as well as the revolution. Our only regret is that because we arrived on a Monday and left before 9 PM, we didn't have an opportunity to see and hear any of the great music Cuba is known for. Last but not least, to dispel all the hype about how hard it is to travel to Cuba, I must say it was the easiest we've ever encountered. #1. With Regards to the "Guest certification for authorized US travel to Cuba" form, the average traveler should check box #2, and complete part B & C. #2. Currency, we found exchanging US currency to Euros before we left and then exchanging the euros for CUC's when we arrived gave us a bigger bang for our buck. However, some places, though not many, were happy to accept the US dollar. #3. Reentry to the US was a joke, we weren't even asked about declaring anything and had I known, I would have picked up some more Rum and Cigars :-) Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I am a former travel agent,, but we have never cruised, never really wanted to. I have sold many cruises, to include the QE2 on down. I've had the opportunity to guest on many ships while in port. I know the saying goes that ... Read More
I am a former travel agent,, but we have never cruised, never really wanted to. I have sold many cruises, to include the QE2 on down. I've had the opportunity to guest on many ships while in port. I know the saying goes that it's not about the destination, it's the journey. This time for us, Havana WAS the destination. The opportunity to go to Havana lured us in. This was our first cruise on a "big" cruise liner (although Majesty is considered small). The size is comfortable. It was nice, and not overwhelming. We anticipated all sorts of negative experiences, and were pleasantly surprised. Maybe this was beginners luck. We went out of Tampa - check in was smooth as silk. Our visa paperwork for Cuba taken care of easily. Had a comedian of a check in guy at the counter - thanks Larry. Minimal time to board - probably about 20 minutes max. Hubby and I describe ourselves as laid back beach-bum types. We did not eat in the fancy restaurant at 5:30. We did not go to the shows. We were very happy with the offerings at the buffet and the deli. All over the ship, the service was excellent wherever we turned. Our cabin was as we expected. We do recommend two things we saw on Cruise Critic. There are only two plugs and they are loose - bring a power strip for your chargers. Bring a few heavy duty hooks with magnetic backs. We attended the on-board briefing about Havana. They told us about how long the lines would be. They tell you horror stories about going through customs. The next morning while eating breakfast, the cruise director gets on the loudspeaker and says we've been cleared early, so if you hurry up, you dont have to wait to disembark. We breezed through their customs and hit the streets. If you are on the RCCL tours, they will have your areas well organized for you, and easy to find. We organized our own private tour, and it was wonderful. No, you do not need to take an RCCL shore excursion, although they make it seem like it's mandatory to go with them. So much of the information they will give you is very confusing, and I cannot tell you what is really right. The briefing told us two litres of rum. We knew we wanted to bring enough back as gifts for friends, and so we decided to exceed the limit, and if we had to pay tax- so be it. We walked back onto the ship, expecting them to hold our purchases - we had more than the limit. But they just waved us through. I cannot promise that will happen to you, but it just might Same thing while returning through US customs - they just waved us back in through Tampa.. My summary of Majesty - we loved it. It was a pleasant comfortable cruise for us. Sure, she's an old ship, and showing her age here and there. Aren't we all? Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We wanted a short, but quality, itinerary and this: Tampa, Key West, Havana cruise was perfect. The Majesty of The Seas is an old (25) ship with the majority of rooms enclosed or interior. The ship is well maintained. There was a chronic ... Read More
We wanted a short, but quality, itinerary and this: Tampa, Key West, Havana cruise was perfect. The Majesty of The Seas is an old (25) ship with the majority of rooms enclosed or interior. The ship is well maintained. There was a chronic sewer odor on deck 4 forward, port side. Fans were in the hallway. The crew and staff provide excellent service throughout. Boarding, shore excursions, and debarkation were efficient. The food in all venues is below average for cruise vessels(7) that I have been on. The entertainment was only fair, but enthusiastic. This short, inexpensive cruise had an interesting clientele. Most were fine, but several were "R" rated. Solicitation to buy drinks and merchandise on the decks, common areas and on TV was constant but not obnoxious. The ship is easy to get around on, and the elevators were fast, but crowded. We had light 1 to 1.5 meter seas and the ship wallowed side to side. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
My Sister-In-Law and I took this cruise because she's never been to Key West and neither of us have ever been to Cuba. This was her first RCCL cruise and my second. We were supposed to go on Empress of the Seas in September 2017 but ... Read More
My Sister-In-Law and I took this cruise because she's never been to Key West and neither of us have ever been to Cuba. This was her first RCCL cruise and my second. We were supposed to go on Empress of the Seas in September 2017 but due to the hurricanes, everything was cancelled. Worked out for the best! We had a great time! It was an easy taxi ride from TPA to the port terminal. We each had a 22" carry on roller bags and checked them in curbside. The line inside the building at 11:30am moved at a decent speed through security and then again while waiting to check in. We got our room/id cards and went directly on the ship. We opted not to get any drink or internet packages as we would be able to use wifi in Key West and then again once we were back in Tampa. Neither one of us are big drinkers. Also, reporting our every move to our friends and family was not a priority to us like it is to other people. We had a $25 credit and our first day at sea got us two drinks from the pool bar which ended up costing only 10 cents. LOL! My SIL said it was one of the best frozen margaritas she ever had and my pina colada was top notch. There was aways great music playing from both the live bands and also the dj. Majesty may be slightly older and a little smaller but she is extremely charming. We really enjoyed the fact that as a passenger, you don't feel lost in the crowd. On our cruise, there were less than 15 kids traveling. They were all very well behaved and we never saw one child or teen running around by themselves. Everywhere that we went on the ship was always clean. We found that the cabin attendants, waitstaff and bar waitstaff were the friendliest of all. Also, the girl in the perfume shop from South Africa (I forgot her name) was wonderful and would wave at us whenever she saw us outside the store. Entertainment: The comedians and the other guest entertainment was awesome. The ship's singers had wonderful voices and the dancers were very good. What drove me nuts was their costumes. It drove me batty seeing costumes that looked so cheaply made. To me that was a turn off that made the house entertainment sub par. It's just little things like the costumes that can bump it up to the next level if the looked like someone took the time to really design costumes that could compete with the newer ship entertainment. Dare I say they looked like hand me downs. Food: OMG the food. Windjammer has so many buffet choices daily. We had both breakfast and lunch there. Staff was great. Food was excellent. We opted to do little taster sizes and if we wanted more, we'd just go back. However, seeing people pile food a mile high not on one plate, but two, and just when you think that second plate was for someone else then to see both plates are for one person....and this was a lot of passengers, it kind of made us lose our appetite! Acting like they never ate before or as if the food would run out (which we know would never happen) was just insane. We opted for the 8pm sit down dinner in The Starlight. It was wonderful! We shared a table of 4 with an older couple from Tampa. We never felt boxed in or crowded. The appetizers, main course and desserts were heavenly! Our table was handled by Halyna and Lokhai. With my SIL being a very picky eater, they catered to her and she had nothing but the highest praise for both of them. She loved every dish that Halyna suggested. Lohkai always had hot tea ready for her right before the main course was served. We also saw them during breakfast and lunch and they always went out of their way to greet us and see how our day was going. I can see them both as section maitre'd. Room: See below. We had inside room #4011. Disembarkation/Embarkation Key West - Easy peasy. No waiting in line. When returning to the ship, they had freezing cold wet towels for every passenger. It felt so good! Key West - We were the only ship docked that day. It was awesome! No crowds and so easy to get around! We took the Conch Train tour. We didn't bother to get off at the Southernmost Point Buoy since there was a line so we took our picture from the train. LOL! We also walked around a little bit and saw the loose chickens and roosters. What a panic! Before going back on the ship, we each had a slice of Kermit's Key Lime pie. Sublime! It was soooo delish! Disembarkation/Embarkation Havana, Cuba - Easy peasy again! We had third party tours scheduled and so we were off the ship in record time. Customs took all but 3 minutes and the only line was for the currency exchange. Word to the wise, if you are exchanging USD to CUC, there is a 13% tax. If you have money to exchange back into USD, you get charged 13% again. I figured out exactly what everything was going to cost and then added USD $20 more to it. After our tour, getting lunch and drinks and getting souvenirs we had .05 CUC left. So we just went right through security, freezing cold towels waiting for returning passengers and no line to get back on. We returned around 6:30pm. Havana, Cuba - Wow is all I can say. We did a 3 hour Old Cars Havana tour with a driver and a guide. It was $120 CUC and well worth it! They were on time at 10am and we cruised around in a beautiful pink and cream 1956 Buick Special convertible. They took us everywhere and we learned so much. At one point they asked if we wanted to go to a cigar factory, which we didn't, and they adjusted the tour and took us around to different neighborhoods for more history. Be advised that when you go through tunnels, the gas/diesel fumes have no place to escape to so be prepared to hold your breath. We highly recommend getting a guide along with the driver for the extra $20CUC. Don't expect Club Med. This is a communist country. You will get a wake up call for sure. The majority of people only make $40-50 CUP a month. Yes, a month. But walking through the neighborhoods going back to the ship, we were stopped a few times by folks that in broken English thanked us for visiting because it means a lot to their economy and for people to see how the locals live. Lastly, make sure you bring toilet paper or toilet paper tablets with you because many of the bathrooms do not have paper. I did my research ahead of time and so we were prepared. Havana Lunch - I did not want to go to an over-hyped tourist trap. So I did my research and found Wanda's Cafe Bar on TripAdvisor. It's diagonal to La Floridita. Russ, the owner is awesome. He's originally from Toronto. He speaks English, Spanish, Italian and French. The drinks and food are not only priced beyond reasonable, they are so delicious too! My SIL had a mojito and couldn't contain herself it was so good. She ordered another one and savored it! I had a pina colada (without cinnamon) and it was delish! I also had a mango daiquiri and words cannot describe how wonderful it was. We also had The Cubano sandwich, at Russ's suggestion. It's Cuba meets Italy. His own recipe. Excellent. Everyone that came in ordered it so it has a fan base. We stayed at Wanda's Cafe Bar until 6:00pm or so (5 hours!) and we made new friends and had an awesome time. People from Scotland and Russ's friends from Cayman Islands that made a surprise visit. Disembarkation Tampa - Very easy. We opted to leave our bags in the hallway the night before. We walked off the ship after they announced our group and had no problems finding them in the terminal. Customs was very easy. All we had to declare was magnets LOL! Another word to the wise, don't book early flights if you are leaving the same day. We were lucky to arrive on time and the ship was cleared with no delays. But always be prepared just in case that doesn't happen. I booked our flight for a 3:50pm departure. We didn't have to rush and we had a nice tomato bisque lunch in terminal F as well as Starbucks before we boarded. All in all, yes, I know this was a long review, we had a great time. My final bill was $400 which included 2 t-shirts on the second to last day crazy sale, 2 room id neck holders, 2 RCCL water bottles, 4 drinks, 1 bag and the per person tips. We can't wait to go on another Royal Caribbean cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was the second cruise this year to Cuba but we chose it because we like last minute cruises and while our first cruise was $1250 for seven nights this was $229 for five. A no brainer. The ship is among the oldest you can sail on but ... Read More
This was the second cruise this year to Cuba but we chose it because we like last minute cruises and while our first cruise was $1250 for seven nights this was $229 for five. A no brainer. The ship is among the oldest you can sail on but have to admit it does not look old (except for the cabins, see below). The crew was among the best we have sailed with. Many are long timers and they are proud of their ship. So what the ship lacks in amenities they make up for in spirit. The ship is relocating to cruise from Ft Lauderdale instead of Tampa. Our cruise had the worst of the Cuba itineraries. We felt bad for the people who booked this cruise not for the low price but because they wanted to see Cuba. A better cruise is one that spends overnight in Havana. Although they promote them as that, most stay until 1 or 2 am. But that is enough to get out and enjoy the nightlife. To see the Tropicana is a must see and do. It takes you back to the 1950's. Also there are two other interesting Cuba ports to see Santiago and Cienfuegos. So if booking a once in a lifetime trip to Cuba do not do one with only a single stop in Havana that leaves at 4 or 7 PM. Find another cruise. Also do not be fooled with threats by the cruiseline that you must be on a ship tour. Nobody cares if you just get off the ship and walk around, except if during the next five years the US treasury dept (yes its them not customs or immigration) audits you and asks you to prove that you did whatever you checked off on the form (we checked off 4 support for the cuban people) and we did take tours with local guides so we did meet the criteria. The food was very good with lobster tails served the last night. It always came out hot and its rare for us to have to blow on our soup to cool it but we were doing that for each bowl. The shows were very entertaining. The best part was unlike the Holland American cruise to Cuba which had 90% retirees (and few activities day or night) this cruise had a great diversity of people onboard (Young couples, old couples, Americans, Canadians, Europeans) This lead to having much to do on board (sexy man contests, belly flopping contests) by day and games until late in the evening. Highly recommend the ship as a first timer but if you have cruised any of the Oasis class ships this can be a real let down which is why there are many negative reviews despite being RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We have always enjoyed RC but this cruising was such a disappointment with the exception of the cruise ports. We thoroughly enjoyed Havana! All crew members that we encountered were polite and helpful - no issues at all with crew members. ... Read More
We have always enjoyed RC but this cruising was such a disappointment with the exception of the cruise ports. We thoroughly enjoyed Havana! All crew members that we encountered were polite and helpful - no issues at all with crew members. I guess we have been spoiled with other cruises as they were on larger/newer ships but, Majesty IS part of RC and should be held to the same high standards of the brand. Main issues were: (1) The quality of the food in the main dining room was such a bland, cold, and unexciting experience. On past cruises, dining was an "event" for us to relax and enjoy dishes that were unusual and delicious. This cruise, we had the 2nd dining and our food tasted like it had been sitting under a warming lamp for hours. Lukewarm, plain, and bland are the best descriptors for our meals throughout the trip. Nothing exciting on the menu! The strip steak was thin, fatty, and with gristle throughout on both nights that I ordered. The best food that we had was the sautéed spinach on the buffet - it was hot, fresh, and well seasoned and the pumpkin seed rolls were fresh! (2) We often encountered the smell of sewage on our floor. (3) The room pictures advertised showed a window and not a portal for our room type. We generally reserve a balcony or suites but had to take an ocean view room as the suites were sold out and no balconies available. The room interior was clean - that is the only positive that I can provide. The common areas appear to have been updated somewhat but the rooms do not appear to have been updated since the 1980's. Horrible mattress. (4) Television channels - you have the best internet available on a cruise, but you can't have any television channel selections? We have always had at least one movie channel and one network station. (5) On the day at sea, Deck 11 was completely bombarded with cruisers. The pool and hot tub were beyond capacity as only one pool was open. Instead of a day of sea, find another port! The day at sea was not a relaxing event for the majority given the lack of adequate seating available and amenities available for use. We spoke to many who were as frustrated as us. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
The trip went smooth, especially with excursions. And the excursions were very organized and well worth the money. Second time cruising, different destinations. By chance both times on this same ship. This time we booked an inside cabin as ... Read More
The trip went smooth, especially with excursions. And the excursions were very organized and well worth the money. Second time cruising, different destinations. By chance both times on this same ship. This time we booked an inside cabin as we didn’t think the window cabin we had last time was worth extra money. Day stop at Havana was a smoothly run operation. Everything was clean. Cabin 2219 was noisy while the band played in the main area. Wouldn’t stay in this cabin again due to that. Last minute booking. Have found without excursions, our days aren’t as smooth. Great crew members as always. Getting VISAs on board for Cuba was a very simple, smooth process. Beautiful weather, and Hurricane Michael was the week prior. A little choppy seas the first night. But not bad. Smooth ocean the remainder of the time. But excursions, drink packages, Wi-Fi, etc prior to boarding. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Great cruise to Key West and Havana. But do not take cabin 4047 or any in that small hallway. Rolling carts overhead till 4AM every night. Yes we complained and no it did no good. Fair warning. We booked excursions directly with Old Cars ... Read More
Great cruise to Key West and Havana. But do not take cabin 4047 or any in that small hallway. Rolling carts overhead till 4AM every night. Yes we complained and no it did no good. Fair warning. We booked excursions directly with Old Cars Havana and had a great time for much less than the ships excursions. The entertainment was very good especially the comic. Food was what you expect on a Royal Caribbean, very good and the service was excellent with the exception of a failure to do anything about the noise in the cabin. It is obvious that many others have had this same problem and also obvious that Royal Caribbean has failed to correct said problem, so shame on them for that. One night one of the officers came to our cabin heard the racket and had the overhead crew put cardboard down which did make a difference. That was the only night we slept. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was my 5th cruise, 2nd RC cruise, and 1st time on the Majesty of the seas. A lot of the other reviews really make the ship and crew not seem so good, but my personal experience was fine. Check-in: Yes, you have to stand in the ... Read More
This was my 5th cruise, 2nd RC cruise, and 1st time on the Majesty of the seas. A lot of the other reviews really make the ship and crew not seem so good, but my personal experience was fine. Check-in: Yes, you have to stand in the normal line that you always stand in when you get on any cruise. Only about 10mins. We had an extra step to take since we went to Cuba on this cruise, but the guy who checked us in (Steve) was very knowledgeable and helpful. Even gave us some tips for the Cuba stop (bring your own toilet paper...seriously). After that, we snapped 2 pics in front of the backdrops and we were on the ship! We got on the ship around noon. The rooms were available to go into at 130pm. The Ship: Not as grand as other ships when you first get on, but I have never been on one of the big magical ships. There was a great band that played amazing latin music in the main lobby area, and it was a nice start. My friend and I spent our time touring the ship just to get a feel of the layout. We passed by the spa/gym area, where the masseuses were waiting to give you a free sample of the services they provided. That was much needed after our flight from DC. Hot stone, bamboo and a general massage was provided (only about 10 mins) and they gave us all of the materials in case we wanted to book something. We then went up to the upper decks. Unfortunately, this ship does not have a solarium, like other ships, so there was 4 hot tubs, and 2 pool areas that were shared by children and adults. Great pool bars. The boleros bar was our go-to bar during our time on the ship. Douglas and Andee were phenomenal bartenders (get a frozen mojito...amazing.) Schooners was more for the older crowd (45+), in my opinion. Great gym, nice walking trail on the 7th deck. The Food: First, Sorrento's pizza.....BEST PIZZA IVE HAD ON ANY SHIP!! Always hot and tasty. I'm from NJ/NY, so I know good pizza, and this was pretty good. Asked for a whole pizza to take to our room, and they provided one without any questions. The Windjammer was what we had for dinner the first 3 nights. They provided a nice variety of food. The carving stations had great selections each of those nights. Cruise food is cruise food, so don't get super high hopes of 5 star food. Its not super amazing, but its tasty food. The Deli is a great place to bring your windjammer food, for a quiet area to dine. They also have some tasty food up there too! The smoked potato soup was pretty yummy, ate that a few times the day it was served. We ate in the dining room once (skipped the fancy night), and it was the same as any other cruise I have been on. Good service, nice servers, food was tasty (again, not amazing). Keep in mind, you can order as much off of the menu as you want. You are not restricted to 1 app, 1 entrée and 1 dessert. We actually both ate dessert there, and got one to go for the room. The Cabin: We stayed in Room 4003. Front of the ship, interior cabin. The room has PLENTY of space for 2 people. The beds were split and there was a built-in nightstand between them. There was also a vanity with a stool in the room. The bathroom was a cruise ship bathroom. Nothing fabulous about it. Unless you are in a suite, please don't have super high expectations. The rooms are like 150sqft. I am an average height, 170lbs, and was able to get around the cabin and bathroom comfortably. The Entertainment: We didn't do too much of the ships entertainment. Relaxed up on the pool deck a lot and watched the movies and sipped on cocktails. We did catch the love and marriage show, which is ALWAYS a good time. We participated in some of the trivia shows in the boleros lounge, which was also a good time. I was one of the winners of the Michael Jackson trivia games, and the prize was an RC highlighter, but it was about the fun, not the prize. The dance clubs opened way too late for us to make it any of the nights. That seems to be consistent across all of the ships. The Ports: The first port was Key West. Pulled up right to the dock, and was able to walk right into town. We purchased the pub crawl excursion, and went on our merry way. Key west was a fun time. You could easily have fun there without buying an excursion. There are bike and moped rentals everywhere, and bars and food places everywhere. The 2nd stop was Havana. ADVICE: Go to the Cuba information session the day before you get there. There is soooooo much valuable info that they give there, and its worth the time. The day you get there, and if you have an excursion, you will have to go to the big show room, and get a sticker to put on, to coordinate with your excursion group (if you got an RC excursion). That process takes a little bit of time because the visa process is involved. They call you group by group to get off the ship and to go through customs. Took about 30-40mins to get off the boat, go through customs and get to the excursion guide person. ADVICE: GET CUCs (Cuban Cash). They strongly encourage this during the Cuba info session as well. A lot of the places DO NOT take US cash or credit. And if they do take cash, they add a high percentage to it because they have to exchange it. MORE ADVICE: Whatever you do get in CUCs, try to use all of it! They charge 13% to exchange your CUCs back to US dollars. We purchased the Aromas Cigar tour. They took us on a bus to a cigar factory, then to a restaurant where we paired cigars and coffee and rum together. Then we went to a large flea market of sorts, where we were able to buy gifts/souveneirs. I am a big negotiator, and was able to do that there with no problems. Cuba is not as amazing as the pictures make it seem (in my opinion). We were also there right before Hurricane Mike hit, which may have had some affect on the day. It was wet and rainy at times. I would go back, but just to a different port. There were no beach-like excursions. MY ADVICE: If you are able to drink 5 cocktails/beers/wine in one day, GET THE DRINK PACKAGE!!! It may seem pricey, but its sooo worth it. All the alcoholic beverages, sodas, STARBUCKS (yes, for real), bottled water, sparkling water is included. All in all, the ship is slightly older, but the way other reviews are describing the ship is not accurate. If you are a cruiser, expect the normal cruise accommodations. This trip in particular was super rocky because of the hurricane. The Captain was able to re-route us to put us behind the storm so that we would be on more calm waters, which I commend him for doing for us. Being in the front of the boat meant that we felt it more, but I took is as getting rocked to sleep lol. Hope this helps alleviate any decisions about taking a trip on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because it went to Cuba, a place we've always wanted to visit. We've been on over 30 cruises with all the major players (Carnvial, Princess, HAL, Norwegian). This was our 5th Royal Caribbean cruise. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it went to Cuba, a place we've always wanted to visit. We've been on over 30 cruises with all the major players (Carnvial, Princess, HAL, Norwegian). This was our 5th Royal Caribbean cruise. Embarkation: Embarkation was pretty painless. The ship left at 4pm and we got to the port around noon which I think is one of the busiest times. There were a ton of agents checking people in so the line went really fast. I'd say the whole process from getting there to being on the ship took less than 30 minutes. Overall Ship: This ship is quite old and is showing its age. If you are used to the newer ships, the decor will probably not impress you. I'd describe the atmosphere as "90s Vegas hotel". Overall though, the public areas are nice. There aren't very many elevators and the ones that we're there were constantly closed for maintenance. So there was always a lot of waiting for the elevator and when you did get one, it was extremely crowded. We opted to take the stairs most of the time, but that's not an option for some. The pool area was typically pretty crowded, but we never had trouble finding a seat. Room: We had an interior stateroom. These are definitely the smallest rooms I've ever seen on a cruise ship. You basically just open the door and there's your bed. We didn't spend much time in the room so the size wasn't a big deal. The mattress and pillows were fine. I'd seen some other reviews saying the beds were hard or worn out, but that wasn't the case in our room. The shower curtain in our bathroom was kind of gross and we asked the steward if we could change it, which he promptly did. The water pressure was good and there was a handheld shower head. Dining: I wasn't expecting much in terms of dining on this cruise, but I have to say, they blew me away in this department. The food and service in the main dining room was excellent. There was a nice variety of options each night and everything was cooked very well. On the last night they also had free lobster which was awesome. I'd recommend eating lunch in the main dining room as there are a lot of excellent options and they have an amazing salad bar with all sorts of fancy ingredients (brie, figs, etc.). The Windjammer buffet was alright. I wasn't super impressed with the quality, but it was good for a quick bite. There was also a pizza place that was open late. To be honest, the pizza was pretty cardboard-ey, but it hits the spot when you have those late night cravings. Entertainment: I didn't experience much of the entertainment as my form of entertainment was constantly gorging myself with food each day. However, what I saw was quite good. There was a comedian one night who was very funny. There was also a singer who did impressions who was kind of corny but enjoyable. They had a nice amount of activities like trivia, bingo, etc, but I didn't participate much in them as it was a very short cruise so there was limited time. Ports: As I said before, the primary reason for this cruise was to visit Cuba. We booked our own tour guide rather than go with the ship's tour. Getting off the ship in Havana was actually a lot easier than I expected. The ship pulls right into town. You have to go through customs/passport control which is pretty basic. On the second day they didn't even check our passports. I'd highly recommend booking your own tour rather than going with the ship's tour. I'd heard from other passengers that ship's tour was kind of boring and you spend most of your time on a bus. Overall, Havana is very interesting city, and I'd definitely like to return to Cuba to see more. We also went to Cozumel which we've been to about a million times. We paid a package price for transportation and access to a beach (which was somewhat overpriced but hassle-free). We arrived in Cozumel quite late in the day (around 2pm) and didn't depart until 9pm. Many of the beach resorts close around 5pm or 6pm. So by the time we got off the ship and took a taxi to the beach it was already 3:45pm which didn't leave us much time at the beach. We did some snorkeling and had a good time, but keep in mind the beach's hours before you decide to pay to visit one. Overall: I will end with the point that the service is wonderful on this ship. The service is typically good on most of the cruises we've been on, but the waiters, stewards, and staff on this ship really shined. They were always smiling and sincerely cared about providing good service. Despite the old ship and the small rooms, I would highly recommend the Majesty especially if you want to visit Cuba. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click