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Karen White

Age: 55

Occupation:Retired teacher

Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Norwegian

Ship: Norwegian Majesty

Sailing Date: April 1st, 2006

Itinerary: April 1st, 2006

Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Majesty Cruise Review
Western Caribbean

Karen White

My two sons and I sailed on the Norwegian Majesty April 1. We drove over to Charleston from Atlanta, about a 51/2 hour drive. I was aware from reading a previous review we would have to pay to park the car. Someone had mentioned they discounted it for disabled passengers. With my oldest son confined to a wheelchair we were only charged $50 for parking and it was in a warehouse with access to a bus with a lift. This was convenient for us. NCL greeters in the terminal were very friendly and took us to a special check-in line for those with impairments.

As I could not push my son up such a steep incline to get on the ship, I was told to use another entrance to the ship which put us on the crew’s deck/quarters. We saw many individuals returning from shopping in Charleston. The elevator was so slow that it took us awhile to get up to deck 7 where our HC accessible stateroom was.

The room was very tiny; however it had a very nice sized bathroom into which I could easily roll my son’s wheelchair. It had a shower chair and enough room for me to move around when I bathed him. Once or twice, for some reason the shower drained very slowly and the entire bathroom became flooded. I had to rinse my hair in the sink as I was afraid the water would flow onto the carpet in the hall. My other son had a similar experience. Also, the toilet was not always willing to flush. I reported it to the desk on deck 5 and someone later came to fix it while we were out.

The beds were the pits! My back, legs and hips hurt from sleeping on such a hard mattress which was lopsided. My ability to sleep soundly deteriorated during the course of the week and I was glad I no longer had to face that bed come Sat. am.

The crew members actually made the cruise fun for me. They were so nice and friendly. It was hard to believe they were not working for individual tips. One Filipino guy, Raul, was so nice to me and so there for me every time I needed assistance that I gave him a little extra money on the last day. He did not want to take it but I made him as his wife is expecting a baby and had surgery while pregnant. His English was not good but we could communicate. I made sure I wrote comment cards for the 4 crew members who impressed me the most with their kindness and service.

I was unable to make use of many of the activities/ amenities due to my son’s limitations. Overall, the ship was very HC accessible. There wasn’t but one excursion that could accommodate his wheelchair so we proceeded to take the tenders to the mainland and just walked around in both Cayman and Cozumel. A tram (conch train) carried us from the ship to Mallory Square in Key West. Key West was my favorite port. We walked over to the Truman Annex and made some photos, and then we found a little restaurant and had some snacks/drinks. There were many people walking around from our ship and another which was docked such that its passengers were put out virtually on Mallory Square (walking off the ship!). I did not like the tram ride on the way back, the driver drove very fast I thought for having a wheelchair passenger in the tail section. My son was crying the whole way back.

I loved the food in the dining rooms. We ate mostly in the Seven Seas, the larger of the two main dining rooms. Our first evening, we dined at Le Bistro, the restaurant with the $15 cover charge. It was entirely too much food but nicely presented and tasty. We also tried the Pasta Café up on deck 9. The view is gorgeous at sunset and the dinner was splendid. The outstanding dinner I had was at Seven Seas one night eating Mahi Mahi. On 3 different occasions I had bread pudding in some form which was divine. I had to decrease the amount of food I was ordering as my disabled son was not so fond of fine dining. We sometimes shared a dinner. We ate at the outdoor buffet one night and it was my least favorite dining experience.

My younger son who is 23 enjoyed the female comedian aboard as well as the hypnotist, Dr. Trance. He also went to the disco once or twice. There were very few young people his age on board and he did not meet many people. He used the gym and enjoyed running on the Promenade Deck. He also enjoyed his excursion to Tulum, but did not like it that he had to miss Cozumel to go on the excursion. He did not even get a look, but was whisked off on another tender to Playa del Carmen to catch the bus to the ruins.

This cruise was a relaxing one for me, even though I had to take care of my disabled son. I met a lot of other guests, most of whom were my age or older. Most were South Carolinians. I’m just thankful that this cruise was after spring break for college kids. There were not many people hanging around the bars at all hours.

My only cruising experiences were 2 back to back 4-day cruises 15 years ago. Cruising is very different now. I had small children with me then and my parents. It was a Disney cruise and everything revolved around children. This ship did have a fair number of kids who were kept constantly entertained by their counselors.

I would love to go on this ship again sometime, but some crew members told me the company is trying to sell it. It’s small and older. People want the glitzy big cruising ships nowadays with so many entertainment options. The shows on this ship were good, but also not the grand productions I have heard exist on other ships.

I hope my review; even though long will help someone trying to make a decision. I had a very good time and would probably go again even with those terrible beds!

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