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Deborah

Age: 37

Occupation:Deputy City Clerk

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Majesty of the Seas

Sailing Date: July 24th, 2006

Itinerary: Bahamas

Royal Caribbean International
Majesty of the Seas Cruise Review
Bahamas

Deborah


This was our second Royal Caribbean cruise; the first cruise was from L.A. to Ensenada on the Monarch of the Seas. I have to say I thought this cruise from Miami to Nassau exceeded our expectations.

We arrived at the port around 11:30 a.m. I had previously checked us in online and we literally had no wait time for them to check our paperwork. There was a bit of a wait to actually board the ship, but it was minimal. I should add that there were three of us and we all had carry on luggage, so we did not have to wait to have our luggage to be delivered.

Once on board we signed my 16 year old up for the drink card and I believe we got our money’s worth out of that. We were asked about the wine and beer, but we declined.

The Majesty has the exact same layout as the Monarch, so we knew our way around pretty well. We immediately headed up to the Windjammer for the buffet lunch. After sitting down we were immediately approached by a waiter offering us Pina Coladas. If a waiter saw you without a drink you were immediately approached, they didn’t push too hard but sometimes it was annoying.

After lunch we brought our luggage to our room which was small, but with three people we managed okay. We had an ocean view room with a double bed (two beds put together) and one bunk bed. There was plenty of room under the bed to store our luggage. We also utilized the hangars and the drawers. I loved having a safe in the room as we kept our valuables there at all times.

We then went up to the deck 11 to enjoy the pools, they were both salt water pools. I will say that I was lazy this trip and never even peeked into the gym. We spent the day on the deck, reading our books and relaxing. Muster drill was a pain, but only lasted about 30 minutes. Then we were off. Something significant was that we wore SPF 30 sunscreen every moment we were out in the sun and we still got a nice tan, we did see quite a few people that were sunburned and miserable. The sun is more intense in the Caribbean in the summer and sunscreen is essential.

Our favorite part of cruising is the dinner. We like to choose the later seating so we don’t feel rushed to get to dinner after visiting a port. Our waiter was superb and had no problems with bringing my husband two appetizers or two main courses. Another gentleman at our table ordered in duplicate as well. You could basically have as many dishes as you wanted. The service was excellent and the food was quite tasty. My husband said this was easily a $50 dinner per person per night. Later that evening we went to the 70s disco and enjoyed the crew performing the YMCA.

First port of call – Nassau. Let me preface this by saying we really didn’t have a plan about what we wanted to do in Nassau. We did not book any shore excursions, as I had difficulty paying to visit a hotel (Atlantis). Our dinner companions told us that the city was walkable, so once we got off the ship we started walking. Keep in mind that we were immediately accosted by taxi drivers, hair braiders and other entrepreneurs. I was aware that this was going to happen, but I didn’t tell my daughter who thought we should kindly say no to every single one. I just kept my blinders on and kept going. Since we were there in July the heat and humidity were quite high. By the time we had walked 5 blocks I was sweating profusely. My husband took one look at me and hired a taxi. The taxi driver took us to the public beach on paradise island and only charged us $2 per person. At this beach we were accosted by more individuals asking us if we wanted a lounge chair or an umbrella or jet skis. These people were seriously annoying, but we ignored them and kept going right into the beautiful ocean. The water was perfectly clear and the sand was white and clean. We spent some time in the water and then utilized some beach showers. We walked through Atlantis and saw the aquarium, pools, casino, etc. It was a nice place, but it was basically a Vegas style resort and we weren’t overly impressed. You could purchase a timeshare there starting in the low $700,000s. We did a bit of shopping and headed back to the ship.

Once we were near the port we wanted to try Conch before getting back on board. We finally found a place and we got a table. Immediately I knew something was amiss when the owner visited every table except ours. We ordered the overpriced salad and it was okay. We were charged $2.50 for a glass of water. I asked for the bill twice before my husband got up and told the server in a firm voice that we wanted the bill. She ran to write it up. We would never go back to that restaurant (Athena Café) ever. We had no idea why we received such poor service.

Back to the ship. If we ever visit Nassau again, I will stay on board. I only saw the Straw Market from the ship as I never saw it while I was walking around. My daughter was disappointed that we didn’t go there, but I wasn’t about to get off to go back.

We went back to deck 11 (pools) to relax a bit. One thing I noticed about this ship is that they were constantly cleaning it. Around 5 p.m. they would move you from your lounge chair in order to clean the deck with a power hose. The first night the pools were empty before midnight and they were cleaning them. I have no problem with a clean ship, I just would have liked them to pick a time when no one was around – even if it was 3 a.m.

Later that evening they had a party on deck 11 and a midnight buffet. Before it began they had an ice carving demonstration which was very impressive. I really enjoyed this party as it included my teenage daughter and they managed to get everyone dancing line dances (Caribbean style). It was great fun and although we were full from dinner, the buffet looked wonderful. We didn’t even realize when midnight hit and the ship had left the dock. Don’t miss this party.

Second port of call: Coco Cay. I think this was probably our favorite port out of the three. We caught the tender and thankfully I was wearing my nausea patch so sea sickness wasn’t an issue. We booked the snorkeling excursion and we were not disappointed! After a 10 minute instruction, we were able to explore. I am a bit wary of the ocean, but they had life guards stationed on platforms a good distance out in the water; I had a flotation device on and had a great time. They also had platforms out in the water for people to rest. They give you a good amount of distance to cover and allowed you to do some deep water exploration if you were up to it. We saw lots of tropical fish, two stingrays and the sunken plane wreck (which we were sure was staged). I took the suggestion of past reviews and we all wore t-shirts in the water and none of us burned.

After about 2 hours of snorkeling we took a break and enjoyed the BBQ lunch provided by the ship. It was like having the Windjammer on the island with us. Because the island was owned by the cruise line, we were never bothered by locals trying to sell us anything. This was a refreshing change. After a bit more snorkeling we caught the 2:30 tender back to the ship. It is hot so try to get on the bottom level so you have some shade.

Again we relaxed on deck 11 and again around 5 p.m. they started their cleaning routine.

Before dinner we went to the Chorus Line Lounge and saw a comedian. He was very funny and it was a clean, family show. My daughter really enjoyed it as this is the first time we took her to see a live comedian.

Later that evening we went to the chocolate buffet. Again, having the late dinner put a damper on our appetite and our eyes were bigger than our stomachs. The chocolate carvings were impressive.

Every night the air was warm and we were up on deck watching the lightning storms in the distance.

Before getting off the ship in Key West we had to pass through customs. It was a breeze. All the decks were called before 10 a.m. and there was literally no wait. We had our passports and sea pass and they didn’t ask us any questions. It took about 5 minutes for the whole process.

Third port of call: Key West. We loved Key West. Despite the heat and humidity we had a really nice time at this port. We rented cruiser bicycles and were off. We climbed the Key West lighthouse and got to see both the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. We traveled further and took a picture at the Southernmost Point of the US marker. We parked our bikes and walked around Duval Street and had Key Lime pie. Yum! We took our bikes and rode through the cemetery to see a bit of history and then when the heat finally got to us we headed back to the ship. Key West is a quaint little town and I wish we could have spent a bit more time there.

Because we had carry on luggage we did not need to have our luggage outside our door the evening before departure. Our room steward told us when they called for express checkout that we could use that and not wait for our color tag to be called. We were up at 6:30, showered, had breakfast on the Windjammer and then prepared to exit the ship. When we cruised on the Monarch it took us an hour in line before we could exit. On the Majesty we were off the ship within minutes and back at our hotel by 8 a.m. It was the most efficient departure I have ever seen.

I highly recommend this cruise and Royal Caribbean. We have so far had good experiences with all the staff. They acted in the most professional manner and were most courteous and helpful. Royal Caribbean is a very organized, efficient company – they truly know how to show you a good time.

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