Number of Cruises: 12
Cruise Line: Norwegian
Ship: Norwegian Majesty
Sailing Date: July 23rd, 2006
Norwegian Cruise Line
Norwegian Majesty Cruise Review
After returning from my Norwegian Cruise Line Majesty
cruise I decided to write this review. Some of you have been scared to
death by the reviews you have read. This will be a long review because I
want to address some of the comments and add my personal experience.
This is my 12th cruise and is my 4th with NCL.
RUST: This is a ship that has sailed to Bermuda for the last 13 years (even before NCL bought her). This part of the Atlantic is really rough on these ships and we had sea spray as high as Deck 9 on our return (hence the dirty windows). For those of you concerned about the windows, they were cleaned in Bermuda and in Boston (while people were on shore). The paint issue, I personally observed five painters painting the ship just about every day (including life boats). If you look closely on the Sun and Pool decks, you will see new paint at the bow and stern. I also witness two painters at the top of the stack stripping paint for a new coat needed there. Basically 511 crew members are hotel staff, which leaves about 100+ for maintenance and everything else. This ship is in pretty good shape for such a small staff and its age. People are basically only talking about the top two decks where the rust is more noticeable. The rest of the ship looks fine and painting is something ships do all the time. What really matters is the ship is very clean and has good Center for Disease Control ratings. The hand sanitizing that NCL does should be done on every line and prevents virus.
CREW: Excellent! This is one of the friendliest and happiest crews I have ever seen. This is a small ship by today’s standards and the crew is like a family. I didn’t find one crew member who didn’t want to help or try to please you. Here is an example; the longshoreman damaged a new suitcase I had during the loading process. I told a nice young woman named Carolene at the Pursers Desk, she said “let me see what I can do”. Within 24 hours the suitcase was back in my cabin and was repaired to its original condition. I asked if I could pay for the repair and was told it was not necessary. I was then told by Carolene “We on the ship we try very hard to make things right for our guest”. This was the total attitude from the Hotel Manager Alexandra down though her staff.
POOL DECK: Yes, this is a narrow pool deck and the pool area gets a bit crowed during sea days. However, I never had a problem finding a deck chair and they have a great sun deck on the stern (back) located on Deck 8 under the pizza and burger area. They also have a deck above the pool that had plenty of chairs. I didn’t find too much “saving of chairs” because this too was addressed during the “rules” presentation. Late one night I saw the pool staff inside the empty pool and hot tubes with brushes cleaning. I have no clue where the dirty pool stuff came from in these reviews. These pools were cleaner than my community pool.
KIDS: Considering this was a July 23rd cruise we had a lot of kids. During the life boat drill, the “rules” were explained to everyone considering children. On the first day each passenger received them in writing and we had no problems with kids. What ever issue that occurred with kids in the past was non existent on our cruise.
FOOD & SERVICE: The food was good on the buffet and pretty good to very good in the dining room. The deck barbeques were very good. This ship is not a five star restaurant and if you want one, you should pay for it. Most people will find the food to be fine and eating in the dining room is always better. They have good prime rib, fish, and the fresh breads are very good. The glasses for the ice tea and juice are small on the buffet but not in the dining room. You can take several glasses or some people brought large glasses for the buffet area. The mixed drinks are more pricey than usual and not a lot of specials were offered. I think it is because the casino and shops are only open for a few days during the Bermuda cruises (NCL has to make money somewhere). They did have rum punch all you can drink for free (one hour) and the normal past cruiser cocktail party. The beer selection is very good including Kirin and Fosters. Beer runs between $4 and $5 depending upon brand and includes tip. Pasta Café (no extra charge) was better than on other NCL ships and is a change of pace. Le Bistro (extra cost) is always good and is a higher dollar meal. We had the surf and turf and paid $20 each. It was our anniversary and we didn’t mind paying for higher end food. The buffet area has limited seating (less than 200 seats) the Royal Observatory (Pasta Café) is open for overflow (stairs at the end of buffet port/left side) and they have plenty of tables. So, don’t waste time walking around looking for a table (go downstairs). In port this was not an issue because so many people were off the ship. Something I hadn’t seen before was the dining room (Seven Seas) open at noon during embarkation. Usually, you have to eat on deck and the dining rooms don’t open until the first night. The service in the dining room was excellent, plenty of staff and I never waited at all. I only saw one time where people waited and that was because they were trying to seat everyone on formal night during prime time. If you don’t like or want something in the dining room ask for it. Also, some tables have comment cards on them, these are to rate your servers. I used them several times and the cards help the crew get promotions and cash service awards. They can also be used to make other comments for improving food or service.
BERMUDA: This is why you take this cruise! This place is beautiful and very quite. You have no street vendors, no hassle and everyone is friendly. The Majesty docks at the best spot in St. Georges and everything is right there. You have three beaches within a 10 minute walk of the ship or a $3 mini bus ride. If you want to eat ashore use the $5 lunch voucher that NCL provides. You can get $25 per person for lunch and you will use it all. We ate at the Carriage House for lunch which is around the corner from the ship. The bill for three at lunch was $78 plus tip. We used the $75 from NCL and paid the difference. Bermuda is expensive, but you can eat all your meals on the ship. The transportation system is very good and you can go all over the island (bus or ferry). The helmet dive is excellent and so is Captain Jerry’s Sail and Swim. The cove for swimming is really cool and Jerry will give you a lot of info. To get to Tobacco Bay Beach go straight off the ship north, though the middle of town, to Coot Pond Road (up over the top of the hill). This is a very nice beach, with several beach areas and has a beach bar and bathroom (busy in the mornings) this place is great for an evening swim before dinner. If you continue to the right, you go about another 100 yards and you hit Fort St. Catherine Beach (if you take the bus, you get dropped here). This is on the northeast corner of the town of St. George (below the old Club Med hotel). This is very nice spot, with Fort St. Catherine dominating the skyline behind the beach. This beach has banana boats, bar, and a dirty bathroom. In front of this beach you will see Black Beards Restaurant on the hill. If you walk about 10 yards you will see a sign for Achilles Bay Beach (between the restaurant and the fort). This is a small but nice beach that is hidden from most people. The water is really nice and it has beach chairs for rent. I couldn’t believe that people didn’t see Achilles and missed it.
My advice is take reviews with a grain of salt. If you go planning to have a good time you will. This ship is perfect for Bermuda and saves you a lot because you don’t pay the high cost of food or lodging on the island.