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Cory Harrison

Age: 27

Occupation:programmer

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Imperial Majesty

Ship: Ocean Breeze

Sailing Date: N/A

Itinerary: Bahamas

We were definitely not impressed. This was our first cruise, and I doubt that we'll ever go on one again. You should see this boat parked next to all the other cruise ships, you'd be embarrassed to walk by them and board on this one. Not only is it much smaller, but it is absolutely covered in rust. They painted on top of the rust, but it is peeling away and looks bad up close. They appeared to have full time painters that just went around and touched up all the rust.

The only reason we ended up on this ship is because we got duped by an RCI timeshare gig, which is a separate bad experience and requires another several pages of complaints, but I’ll keep my review to the ship only here.

The only thing I found that was fun to do was to drink Corona's and hang around the karaoke room. The singing was fun because everybody knew that they’d never see any of these other people again, so who cares if you look like a fool. The crew even messed up the karaoke announcements believe it or not. One girl who was announcing was cool and was revving the crowd up, but another one decided to always quickly announce who was up next while the audience was clapping at the loudest point, so nobody knew what was going on.

A Corona beer is about $4.25 plus a mandatory 15% gratuity, so my plan to drink the night away got too expensive to follow through with. What makes me mad is that as soon as you get the papers in the port, they let you know that they are automatically charging $19.50 per person for gratuity “for your convenience”. If they’re going to force me to pay this up-front gratuity, why do I have to pay another 15% gratuity for somebody to open a bottle for me? Another thing that makes me mad is that they trick everybody into getting a drink when they first come on the boat. They put these guys who can barely speak English up by where you come on board, and they shove a drink in your face. They try to make it sound complimentary, “just to get you started” they say. They then tell you to sign this paper to acknowledge that you received the drink. This is actually their equivalent of signing a credit card receipt, and you just signed away $7 by doing what they say. I realized my mistake after my signature was already down, and asked the guy if this was mandatory or what, because he acted like everybody has to receive this drink, and he just quickly said some incomprehensible remark in a strange accent as he rushed off to trick somebody else. I may be wrong, but I don’t think they explain how the cash-less buying system works on the boat until the presentation, after everybody got duped into buying that first drink. I’m not real sure that those cocktails had alcohol in them. They were really watery on top, and settled on the bottom was something that had a horrible jaw-tingling whang to it, but for the most part it tasted really thin and sugary like those cheap $1 per gallon fruit punches from the grocery.

The entertainment is second rate at best. The entertainers had to do their show late at night after they had been working other jobs all day. The lifeboat drill instructors ended up being our dancers later on. We also saw these same dancers cleaning rooms and making beds in other areas of the ship. The disco room is very small and ends up being full of teenagers.

The food just simply wasn’t good. I did have an awesome grouper on the first night’s dinner. It was covered in oil so it was greasy, but it tasted great. Everything else, with the exception of fresh pineapple and cantaloupe, just wasn’t good. It’s kind of hard to mess up pineapples, but even the fruit got bad at the end of the cruise as they had to use what’s left over and serve small cut up pieces that wasn’t very good. The first night might have been nice but one of the other waiters tripped and dumped 6 or 7 plates of food right beside me, and they were cleaning it up for a long time. The hamburgers at the lunches were just horrible. They were way over-cooked and dry. One of the fancy sounding foods on the dinner menu was something like “Crème de Strawberries”, which was basically strawberry milk with a few strawberry seeds floating around in it, and you’re supposed to “eat” it with a spoon? Pretty much everything was overcooked and greasy and didn’t smell very good. They did have a couple of nice desserts. At the last dinner, they have two waiters come out with what is supposed to be Baked Alaska. It appeared to be a totally burnt birthday cake, complete with lighted candles, and a pineapple in the middle, all on top of two guy’s heads while the rest of the crew followed those guys around in a conga line. When it was dessert time, the waiter took our orders, and explained that the Baked Alaska was available, and also explained that it was what the dancing waiters had on their head. My wife thought it sounded interesting, so she ordered it. They brought back what seemed to be a plain piece of Neapolitan (strawberry, vanilla, chocolate) ice cream. How pathetic.

The pool and hot tub setup was a joke. The pool is tiny and just looks like an oversized hot tub with cold water in it. The hot tub was ok, but it can only fit about 6 people comfortably. At 900+ passenger capacity, this number seems very small to me. I never actually got in because it was either packed or closed at all the times that I wanted to sit in it. The biggest joke is that the “pool” and hot tub is only open during the day. That means that at sunset, actually 45 minutes before sunset, they are closed and drained. So, we board the ship and have to watch a presentation and go through lifeboat drills until nearly sunset one day, and then they close as soon as you are free. You wake up the next day and go to the Bahamas, then get back on the boat at nearly sunset. The next day, you wake up, and leave. Just when exactly are you supposed to enjoy the “pool” and hot tub?

For some reason, the entire layout of the boat was confusing. It seems like they could just label each floor with a number by the stairs. We were constantly going to the wrong floor and not realizing it until we had walked for a little while. I would normally think that we’re just stupid and impatient, but there were lots of people with the same complaints. Maybe we’re all stupid and impatient.

They try to play on the “Titanic” movie emotions. They play Celine Dion’s song from the soundtrack a lot on the music channels. There are only two music channels and no TV in the rooms, so you don’t have much of a choice but to listen to one of them. The first night the music was ok, but after that it was formal and what I would call strange jazz, which I didn’t care for. Any true “Titanic” fan would want to relive the magic by standing at the front of the boat and shouting “I’m the king of the world”, right? Not on this boat. The entire front deck was messily filled with boat parts and even had a leaky pipe that was spewing water a few feet in the air, so it was off-limits to the passengers. At the “formal” dinner (around half the people wore T-shirts or other clothes that weren’t exactly formal) they had a backdrop of the staircase of the Titanic that you could get your picture taken in front of. It looked really fake even in the pictures. Speaking of pictures, they want to take your picture all the time because they hope you’ll buy a picture from them. It got old really quick. Several people were complaining about it.

If you were into gambling, I supposed you’d like the casino. I stay away from those things, so I don’t have much to say about it. Behind the casino is their arcade, where they have about 6 video games. I never thought I’d pay $0.50 per game over and over at an old Pac-Man and Galaga machine but I was pretty bored.

Well at least I could work out on the boat, right? Well I couldn’t really run, because I would have had to run 10 laps around a slick and wet wooden deck full of people to get a mile in. I found a workout room and thought I was set for awhile. I think the treadmill worked ok, but it felt really weird, but that’s probably a personal preference, so I moved over to the Stair Master, which is my favorite machine anyway. After asking all of the questions for setup, I began on my 20 minute workout. About 30 seconds later, everything got really easy, and the computer shut off. I tried to set it up again, and once again it shut off in about 30 seconds. After realizing that’s not going to work, I move to the Nordic Track. Either the resistance part was messed up, or this machine was geared toward older people, because I put it on the hardest setting and was flailing away at it with no problems, and couldn’t even make myself breathe hard. The maximum you could set it on was 10 minutes. After realizing that there was no way that I was going to get a decent cardio workout, I get some push-ups in on the floor and also some sit-ups on their bench.

The rooms were ok I guess, although they were tiny at about half the size of a small college dorm room. They were the size of the back of a normal motor home I think. It’s definitely nothing like a decent hotel room, probably 4 or 5 times smaller. I’ve seen pictures of the rooms at other cruises, and this is nothing like those at all. Awhile back they told us that we could fit four adults and one child in the room, but I have no idea how. There are two small beds that can only fit one person each, then there is a similar sized bed that can be pulled out from the wall, so three adults is all you could fit in the beds. One person could sleep in the floor, but the room would be totally full then. One small child may be able to squeeze in the floor up close to the door, but at that point you’d be doing an imitation of a sardine can. The worst part about the room was that you literally bounced in the beds. My wife didn’t have it as bad as me, probably because she’s much lighter, or maybe my bodyweight was somewhat resonant to the rpm’s of the ships engine or something crazy like that, but I laid down and within 5 seconds my whole body was fairly quickly bouncing up and down about an inch even though I was totally relaxed. I tried the other bed with the same results. I finally found that it was attributed to the cheap metal straps and springs combination that held the mattress up. I had to take the mattress and put it in the floor to keep from getting sick, and I never get seasick or any other type of motion sickness. Having a few beers then lying down while bouncing up and down twice a second while the ship was rocking back and forth will definitely do it though.

The water in the room was definitely not normal. The toilet always looked like somebody forgot to flush it. The water out of the sink had a brown tint to it. I kept ordering beer or juice with no ice to try to avoid ingesting any of the ships water. I guess the room cleaners had to justify that $20 mandatory tip, assuming they saw any of that money, because they were cleaning the rooms like twice a day. They were cleaning people’s rooms like within an hour or two after getting on the boat before they had unpacked. Once we realized how much they were around, we put a “do not disturb” sign on the door for the rest of the trip.

Well obviously we didn’t have a good time, and I can’t find it in my heart to recommend this cruise to anybody. The best part of the trip was laughing hysterically at how bad everything was. By reading this you may think that we’re just used to the spoiled and pampered life and we’re just being picky, but I assure you that’s not the case. It wasn’t very long ago that I was sharing a tiny dorm room in college, and we’re quite used to going on budget trips in $30 a night hotels and $15 a night campgrounds. Unfortunately during this cruise, we were longing to be at one of those places.

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