Number of Cruises: 3
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Majesty of the Seas
Sailing Date: October 2nd, 2006
Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean
Royal Caribbean International
Majesty of the Seas Cruise Review
We went on a honeymoon cruise on October 2nd aboard the Majesty of the Seas. We had gotten lots of good tips here so we thought we would share some of our own.
1. If at all possible, try to stay in Miami the night before. We booked our flight so that it was supposed to land around 2:00, which would have been plenty of time for us to get to the dock and register. This was our first time flying and we weren’t aware of the delays that can happen. The second leg of our flight was delayed for an hour and a half due to an engine problem. We barely made it in time. So I would definitely recommend being in Miami by the morning of departure.
2. You can book what is called a “transfer” through Royal Caribbean, where they will come to the airport and meet you at the baggage claim and take you by bus to the ship. They send you luggage tags ahead of time with all their information and your information on them. This can save you the hassle of trying to find transportation to the ship. They also will take you back to the airport upon departure. This costs extra, but may be worth it, especially for anyone with a large family or lots of luggage.
3. Be sure to go get your passport 3-4 months in advance of your trip. You don’t want to book your trip and then find out that your passport won’t be back in time!
4. Several people had said that the muster drill was horrible, but it wasn’t so bad for us. Then again, some people are outside on the deck (in the sun) and others are inside in the lounges. We were lucky enough to have been inside. Where you are depends on what deck your stateroom is on, so if you can reserve a cabin on Deck 8, you will probably be inside like we were. It didn’t take long at all and they keep track of attends. This is mandatory, so I guess if your name doesn’t show up on the list, they know you didn’t attend.
5. Also, be careful of where your rooms are located. Some of the stateroom windows are blocked by lifeboats and the such, so you should definitely look into that when booking your cruise. Personally, we were probably on the best Deck (8) because it was only three decks up to the Windjammer and the Pools, and only three decks down to the shops, Casino, and Chorus Line Lounge. Also, the higher up your cabin is, the less you feel the ship rocking.
6. Speaking of which, you should take some medication with you for motion sickness. They sell it in the Sundries Shop on Deck 5 if you forget. We didn’t have a lot of trouble with it, but one day, the wind was up and the boat was rocking pretty hard. From what we heard, most everybody onboard was sick. So you should be prepared for it just in case.
7. We had read that the pizza at the Mast Bar up on Deck 12 wasn’t good, but we thought it was rather tasty. Lots of times, they don’t have it ready though, so you may have to wait a few minutes for it to get done. This may be the best choice for simple folks like us. Some of the food they serve at the Windjammer was a little “fancy” for our taste. They have a great salad though! The breakfast wasn’t all that, I have to say. The biscuits were, I don’t know, whole wheat or something. They weren’t good at all. The gravy wasn’t very good. Eggs were okay, despite what I had read. But you can get a made to order omelet if that’s more your style.
8. Be sure to attend dinner in the formal dining rooms. We skipped the first night, and ended up wishing we had gone. The food here is fancy, but boy is it good! Appetizer, entrees, and dessert. Whatever you want!
9. We were a little confused about what we were supposed to wear to dinner. We knew there was one formal night, and had appropriate clothing for that night. Besides that though, everything else we had packed was casual everyday type of clothes. We thought “casual” meant whatever you wanted to wear. We were wrong. They refer to it as “dress casual”, meaning slacks and a nice shirt for men, and a dress or slacks and a blouse for women. They’ll still let you in if you aren’t dressed correctly, but you’ll really feel out of place.
10. There were lots of comments on here about being hounded to buy the wine package or soda package before boarding the ship. We were never even offered either one, which was fine with us, since we didn’t have to worry about seeming rude. So this may not be something you’ll have to worry about.
11. Also, there are crew members that walk around the pool and the lounges before the nightly shows to offer alcoholic drinks for purchase. Some people had said they felt pressured by these employees, but we didn’t at all. We aren’t drinkers so we didn’t buy any of them, and we never felt as though they were trying to get us to. Note that you can get non-alcoholic drinks, like a virgin daiquiri, and it’s a little less. Also, they have great buys on alcohol on Deck 5. You can’t take it home with you, but if you have a favorite drink, you could get a heck of a deal on it here.
12. Be sure to catch the shows in the Chorus Line. We went each night and it was really a lot of fun. Especially the “Love and Marriage” show. That was hilarious. We didn’t go to the scavenger hunt, but they showed it on the tv in our room and those people had a ball!
13. Some people had said to pack light because the rooms are so small. We each had one large rolling suitcase and there was plenty of room. I wouldn’t recommend taking much more than that though. Then again, you really aren’t in your room very much because there is too much other stuff to do elsewhere. The bathroom is rather small though, and the shower is tiny.
14. If you plan on getting in some sun time by the pool, get there early to get a good chair. There are plenty of chairs for everyone, but the good ones will get taken fast. Also, one side is for smoking and one side is non-smoking, which is good for those of us who don’t want to sit beside a smoker.
15. The midnight buffet wasn’t all we had thought it would be. A lot of the foods were really fancy and not to our liking. We each had a small plate with just a few things, and ended up throwing most of it away.
16. Don’t forget that you can order room service 24 hours a day. We never did, but if you want to just hang out in your room, or get a midnight snack, this is a great way to do it.
17. If you’re planning on making any calls home, you’ll definitely want to re-think it! Calls made from your room are $7.95 a minute! We didn’t expect to have service on our cell phones, but we did. It showed up on our LCD screens as “cellular at sea” though, so there’s no telling how much it would cost you to make a call from your cell phone. I wouldn’t recommend testing it! You can send an e-mail from, I think, Deck 4 for 45 cents a minute. Also, when you go into Nassau, you can use the high speed internet access at Subway restaurant (just a few minutes from the ship) for just 10 cents a minute. This is your best option for contacting people back home.
18. Don’t book your excursions online. You can usually get them cheaper once you reach your port.
19. In Nassau, we took the Pirates City Tour. They take you by bus around the city and tell all sorts of interesting history. There are several stops where you can look around and do some shopping, if you want. Afterwards, you go through the pirate museum where they tell the history of pirates and how life on the seas was. As you leave the museum, you can tour the city by foot and go to the straw market, if you want to. The museum is only about five minutes from the ship, so you have plenty of time to do whatever you want the rest of the day.
20. The straw market would be a great place to get some bargains, if you’re a haggler. They have some good deals here, but if you’re like me, you don’t like places like this. We didn’t buy anything there at all. We made a beeline from one end to the other because as soon as we went in, women starting nagging us. They will invade your personal space and they will put things on you, if you give them half a chance. There are some little shops along the street beside the dock where you can get souvenirs, so I would recommend going there instead.
21. When you get off in Nassau, there are the women we have all heard about wanting to braid your hair. We simply told them no as we walked by, and didn’t have a problem. If you want to have it done, you’re supposed to negotiate with them over the price. I would definitely say to, because one of the women at our table at dinner had hers done and said she had talked them down to $2 per braid. She must have had at least 25 or 30 braids in her hair, so you’re talking $60 to have your hair done. And they don’t braid all the way down. Only halfway!
22. We were a little disappointed because we didn’t get to stop at Coco Cay the second day. We had been forewarned that if the weather was bad, you would have a day at sea instead. You have to be tendered from the ship to the island, so if the waves are too high, they can’t let you on these little boats, for safety reasons.
23. In Key West, you have to clear customs because you have just entered the United States again. They do this according to Deck. They started on the upper decks, so we were one of the first groups to get to go, since we were on Deck 8. This doesn’t take long on an individual basis. You just show your SeaPass card and your passport. But there are so many people on board that you have to wait in line for a while. We were able to get clearance within about thirty minutes or less.
24. In Key West, we were approached by someone who wanted us to take a tour of a resort there. He said it was only for married couples over 25 years old and that we would get $50 cash for taking the tour. Said it was not a timeshare, but it sure sounded like it to us! So we declined. He tried to push, but we didn’t give in. This was right after you leave the little strip mall that is there on the dock when you get off the ship.
25. There are parts of Key West that parents may be want be cautious about. You’ll see shirts and underwear in store windows that say things that you definitely wouldn’t want young kids to see. There was one motorcycle type shop that had a big board back by the cash register with pictures of women who had flashed their breasts so that they could be on this board. Funny stuff for adults, but watch out if you have your kids with you.
26. The night before departure, they will leave information in your room regarding how to tip, and also colored coded luggage tags for you. You have to sit your luggage outside your room, with the tags attached. Be sure to keep anything you might need the next morning in your room to pack in your carry on, because they’ll take your luggage away overnight. The next morning, they’ll call you down for departure according to what color your luggage tag was. Again, we got lucky on this one. Ours was grey and was the first color called so we didn’t have to wait around forever. I don’t know if everyone on our Deck got grey, or if there was some other system they used, but this might be another reason to try to get on Deck 8.
27. And last but certainly not least, some tips on luggage and how to find yours on the carousel. A word to the wise, try to get luggage that is some color other than black. Seems like 90% of the luggage was black and its almost impossible to tell yours from everyone else’s. You just have to pick it up and check your luggage tag, and if its not yours, you have to put it back on the carousel and wait again. Getting luggage that is unique from everyone else’s will help. If you already have luggage, there’s no need to buy more just for this purpose. Instead, do this: a lot of people had something tied onto theirs. For example, a bandana or a scarf of some sort. Something that would catch their eye as it came down the carousel and they would know that it was theirs. I’m sure this saves you a ton of time instead of rifling through every suitcase that looks like it might be yours.
Well, we hope this helps all you first time cruisers. Have a good time and enjoy yourselves!