Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Majesty of the Seas
Sailing Date: April 17th, 2006
Royal Caribbean Internationl
Majesty of the Seas Cruise Review
My partner and I just returned from this cruise to the Bahamas and Key West. It was my first cruise, and his third.
The boarding process was very fast and simple. Some warned me ahead of time that there could be long waits in the terminal, and that passengers have to wait until called to board. Neither was the case. Instead, the terminal had long counters with ample staff to help expedite the process. It was similar to checking-in at any hotel.
All we needed was our SetSail Pass, Boarding Documents, Credit Card, and Passports. We did everything recommended beforehand Online, so the process took about 2 minutes, then we were free to board.
Our stateroom on Deck 9 was more than adequate, clean, and we settled in right away. Our attendant came by and pointed out some of the options available: laundry service, room service, etc. He was very helpful and set a good tone for our vacation.
Our luggage did not arrive at our stateroom right away, but we expected this, so we had a carry-on with everything we figured we needed before dinner. Who wants to unpack after boarding, anyway? We had a whole ship to explore and become familiar with!
Some of the reviews I read on this site had me prepared for the worst. They suggested that this ship was old and showing its age. I guess people can find fault with just about anything, if that's what they are looking for. Considering the age of the ship and how many people must have enjoyed it, it does have a "lived-in" feel. The carpeting was worn in places and the decor seemed dated, but overall, it was clean and no different from any fine hotel I've stayed in. The ship has a relaxed feel to it and lots to do and see.
We started our tour on Deck 2, and seeing how many staterooms there were there, I was happy we chose to spend a little more on a larger stateroom on Deck 9. I get claustrophobic at times, so maybe it is just me, but I wouldn't have enjoyed a lower stateroom. Our room was 9514, and since the hall was a dead-end with staterooms only on one side of the hall, it was ideal.
The Centrum was pretty much as I expected. Multiple levels of shops, lounges, the dining rooms, excursion desk, etc. There was an over-abundance of artwork everywhere they hoped to auction off, but since we enjoy art, this was fine. There were long lines at the excursion desk, but since we took care of this Online, it only made me laugh at how ridiculously prepared we always are. There was also a line for soda passes and wine, but a crew member told us that soda passes can be bought at any bar on ship, so we skipped the unnecessary line and headed up to the pool on Deck 11.
On Deck 11, there is the pool and Windjammer Cafe. We had breakfast and most lunches at the Windjammer, and the food was always good and plentiful. They have several different areas to sit; some more suited for the people coming from the pool in bathing suits, and other areas for the people coming up just to eat. We never had trouble finding a table with a view. And by the pool, we never had trouble finding chaises to relax on. We never felt like cattle or cramped.
We had dinner in the Makaido Dining Room at Main Seating. I was a little apprehensive about the whole "dining room" thing, thinking that the experience would be like a bad wedding where one is seated with the long lost Uncle who everyone wished would really be lost. Luckily, it was not like this at all. We were seated with just one other couple, and it was fun to get to know them and discuss what we all did that day or planned for the next. The waiter we had was disappointing and seemed disinterested, but even as bad waiters go, he was OK. The Head Waiter, too, was distant, and I think he only visits the table to show his face as a reminder of "I expect a tip at the end of the cruise". His half-hearted welcome was worth the $.75/day tip I guess. But even though we didn't click with these two, the experience was good, and the food was wonderful! Coming from a family of Chefs, I appreciate good food, and Royal Caribbean's was excellent. We did pass on the formal night, though, and opted instead to eat ashore in Nassau.
Nassau was fun. We took a sightseeing tour which included Ardastra Gardens. There were only 7 of us on this tour, so the experience truly felt more personalized. Our guide took us past many of the points of interest, stopped at a few, then took us to the Gardens. Ardastra is really a small zoo with trails connecting the exhibits. It is small, maybe 5 acres, and has a quaint feel to it. The highlight there are these marching Flamingos, and they put on a little show with them. It was cute, and the walk around was nice, too. The guide was informative, and seemed to think that the words "Coconut", "Public Beach", and "Doctors, Lawyers, and Bankers" would enthrall us. It was comical and we enjoyed this excursion.
After the sightseeing tour, we had plenty of time to stroll Nassau, including the Straw Market and the downtown. I especially enjoyed the architecture. The Straw Market was not my thing, but my partner enjoyed it. If one is looking for deals on T-shirts, or straw beach bags, then this is the place to go.
A lot of other people seemed very interested in seeing Atlantis, but we stayed in the downtown area. I figured that if I want to see Atlantis, I'ld wait until we actually stayed there.
The Bahamian people are very friendly, and I never felt accosted. Yes, there are taxi drivers everywhere who think we all want to go to Atlantis, but after a gentle "No, thank you", they were satisfied and moved on to the next person.
The following day, we were at Coco Cay. This is Royal Caribbean's private island, and it is all decked out in colorful, Bahamian decor. Our excursion for parasailing was cancelled due to mechanical problems, so we decided to just enjoy the beach and BBQ. There is also a Straw Market here, but it is not run by Royal Caribbean, and the vendors only accept cash. I would strongly recommend that one consider this before leaving the ship. I don't think there was an ATM anywhere, and we would have shopped here as it was more open and cleaner than in Nassau. Some may think it is too sanitized, but we are Disney lovers, and enjoy this environment of "Native Light". The BBQ on Coco Cay was the highlight, and as many wrote in other critiques,"Be sure to eat the ribs!"
Key West was alot of fun. Before leaving the ship, everyone has to be processed by Immigration, but the process went quickly with no hassles. We took the Ghost and Legends Tour of Key West and had 10 people on this tour with us. It is a walking tour, and our guide was a knowledgable, fun lady. She was very attentive to the group; making sure we all had water or something to drink and planned our stops in areas with shade. It wasn't a hokey tour at all, but a very enjoyable way to get a feel of the history of Key West.
We've been to Key West before, so after our tour, we went back to the ship to enjoy a lazy afternoon. Key West, however, is a great town, so I highly recommend getting to see as much as one can while there.
With no day at sea, it is easy to miss much of what the ship has to offer, except at night. We went to the show the first night, which was a tribute of some sort to Latin music. My partner and I both thought it was terrible and on par with a high school recital, but were surprised later to find out others really enjoyed it. If our seats were better selected, we would have ducked out halfway through, so I recommend sitting near the back just in case. The comedian the second night was excellent, so aisle seats are not necessary. We also enjoyed the casino on the ship, played Bingo, and just relaxed. This cruise was a nice mix of heavy-duty partyers, families, and people who prefer to kick back with a book. It really is whatever one makes of it, and as the Assistant Cruise Director said several times, "Go ahead. You'll never see these people again". It was the right attitude to take.
If I had to complain about anything on this ship, I would have to mention the elevators. Not because the ship doesn't have enough of them, but because so many people find it necessary to take the elevators just to go up or down one level. Because of this, the elevators are VERY slow.
I highly recommend this ship to anyone looking for a getaway, and I would go again. Royal Caribbean serves many guests, but they truly go out of their way to give personal attention to everyone. No, Majesty of the Seas doesn't have an ice skating rink, but it's a beautiful ship and well worth every penny.