Number of Cruises: 0
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Majesty
Sailing Date: January 7th, 2006
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Norwegian Cruise Line
NCL Majesty Cruise Review
This was my first cruise, so hopefully my review may be somewhat more objective than someone who has cruised often.
The reason I chose NCL was because we could sail out of Charleston. Even though the overall price was slightly more expensive than some of the other cruise lines, I felt that offset the cost of airline travel had I chosen a different port.
Please Note: There is only one place to park at the pier and it cost 115.00 for the week. I was unaware of any parking charges, however, your vehicle is safe and parked in a garage with security.
Once you park your car, the process moves along very efficiently. You are directed to a place to tag your bags, then to an area where they are checked and brought to the ship. Shuttle buses bring you to the terminal to check in. I was traveling with my Mom, who has difficulty walking, so I was very pleased with the process for getting you to the ship. The line for showing your documents, checking in, and receiving your SHIP CARD moved quickly and efficiently.
Once we got onboard, there was no one to welcome us, or direct us to our staterooms. We just kind of stood there waiting, and then realized we needed to find the room ourselves. Once we did, we found that some of our luggage was already outside of our stateroom. However, I noticed the way the bags were handled as they brought more luggage onboard. Care was not taken, and they were literally throwing bags around. My advice would be to carefully wrap any fragile items you may have in your suitcase. They also broke the handle on one of my bags.
The staterooms were roomy enough, with a nice big window. There were four of us, and we had enough room to unpack all of our clothes, hanging them in the closets or storing in the dresser. The beds are high enough that even our very large luggage we were able to store underneath. The staterooms are serviced twice a day, and the service was impeccable. It was very nice to come back to the stateroom at night, to find all the beds turned down, the room straightened, and the night lights on.
We were there primarily to rest and relax, so the freestyle cruising aspect was very nice. You could dress up if you like to attend one or two of the formal dining areas, or just throw on a pair of jeans and a tee-shirt to dine in several others. We ate in a formal dining room one night, and the service was outstanding. The rest of the cruise we chose the buffet which had a different theme every night. There were alot of choices, and the food was very good. The Bar Staff on the sun deck was OUTSTANDING. They work very hard, always with a smile, and believe me, you never get a chance to get thirsty. ONE WARNING - All drinks, including SODA (2.00) are automatically charged a gratuity, and billed to your ship card. When your not spending cash, $4.00 for a beer, and $6.00 - $9.00 for a mixed drink can quickly add up.
The ship was very rocky in the forward and aft areas. We chose a stateroom in one of the middle decks (Deck 7) in the MIDDLE of the ship. That seems to be the area with the least amount of movement.
We anchored in Grand Cayman and Cozumel and had to depart the ship by tender. It was organized well, by excursion, and we didn't wait more than ten minutes to get off the ship. I was very disappointed by the mount of time we had off the ship. I'm assuming that is typical, but I didn't anticipate spending only two hours in Grand Cayman before having to get back on board.
The same thing happened in Mexico, although we had about 4 hours. When we got to Key West we were told that due to a barge accident, we would be unable to disembark there. I was VERY annoyed at that, and haven't found any evidence of a barge accident there on the internet, so I am not sure if that story was true or not. They did refund us one days worth of automatic room gratuity, which amounted to $35.00. I am in the process of requesting a refund of port charges. I didn't feel that we should have to request that, it should have been done automatically, no matter whose fault it was. With port changes per person at about 200.00 - a refund would have amounted to much more than $35.00.
Overall, our experience was nice, the service was good. Some of the girls from the Ukraine were not friendly at all, which I didn't care for, but overall the rest of the staff was great.
They had activities for the kids, although there weren't too many kids on board at this time of the year, and I would say that about 85% of the guests onboard were couples 55 and above. The shows were wonderful, and there was big band dancing which the older guests seemed to really enjoy. I didn't spend much time in the disco, being an early bird, but my daughter said it was o.k. The choice of music selection cold have been better. Since most of the guests that went to the disco at night were in the 20's, they should play songs that are popular now, which they didn't.
Personally, I don't think I would cruise again. I would much rather enjoy the islands that we visited by staying there instead.
I hope this review helps!