Number of Cruises: First Cruise
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Majesty of the Seas
Sailing Date: July 27th, 2001
The 3 day Trip to the Bahamas on the Majesty of the Seas was our first cruise, and we loved it so much, that we are getting ready to take our third cruise, in less than a year.
However, I would never take a short cruise again. It was fun, but hectic, with very little time to really relax. I much prefer the 7 day cruises, with “at sea” days, and all the little extras that you miss on the shorter cruises. But if you want a shorter cruise, I think this is the best destination.
The ship is lovely, and I was in awe, as a first time cruiser. Since then, I’ve seen much bigger cabins elsewhere, for less, and also better pool layouts, but I was impressed at the time. The room was quite small, and the shower was low on hot water, and leaked all over the floor, but we had a porthole, and didn’t really didn’t spend much time in our room anyway. The cabin steward was great.
The Embarkation was pretty efficient, and we didn’t have any problems. Royal Caribbean has a nice port, and things went smoothly, and we boarded quickly. They served a great meal up in the Windjammer Cafe. Unfortunately, that only lasted for the first day.
Dining- The Main dining room was superb! Everyone at our table agreed, and many were world travelers, who were used to fine dining. The Windjammer Cafe went downhill after making a good, first impression, and the midnight buffets in there were nothing to brag about. Also they didn’t ever serve lobster, or have 24 hour pizza, or any pizza at all, which would have been nice. I can’t complain too much though, because the meals in dining room made the food with the next cruise line pale in comparison. The food in there was a real highlight on this cruise. The mahi-mahi fish, and filet mignon, and prime rib, were delicious, not to mention the desserts! The wait staff was both friendly, and gracious- the best!
Ship entertainment- The band was quite good, but very limited. They played the same songs over and over again. Fortunately, I love the song called “Sweat”, but we did not enjoy constantly hearing and watching The Macarena, The Electric Slide, and listening to “Who let the dogs out?” That got old really fast, and there was never any variety, except for Salsa dancing inside. Even on the formal night, when everyone was dressed up for “Dancing under the Stars”, they played those same old songs, instead of romantic, slow dance, music. That was our biggest disappointment. It didn’t even make any sense, and most people did not participate in those tired old dances, anyway. The night life on this cruise ended early in the evening, every night. This was not the case on the cruise I just took, and I don’t know why there is so much difference on ships. The pool layout, and the irritating dance instructor didn’t help. The shows were good, but we would have liked more comedians. There were lots of very young teenage girls on this cruise, and they were a problem, because they tried to get into the bars, and were not well supervised.
It just didn’t seem appropriate for them to be roaming around at night, looking for action. And they were loud, and pushy at times, as well. We didn’t see any of this on our second cruise. My best advice to RCCL is to vary the music to include some romantic slow dancing, especially for “Dancing under the Stars”, on formal night. Many people looked lost, and bored, after the gourmet dinner, and were not in the mood for “Who let the dogs out?”, while wearing tuxes, and formal gowns!!
Ports and Tours-
Nassau- I loved this port, but didn’t get enough of it! We needed another day, especially since we had to be back on the ship early, to dress up for the formal night! We took the Atlantis tour to Paradise Island, and I thought it was extremely beautiful there. The yachts, and the hotel, and the aquarium, and seascape, were out of this world. You’ll know you’re not in Kansas anymore! There is a place to change on the beach, and the beach is quite lovely, although the coral is not too kind on the feet. The pools are not for use, except by hotel guests, but they are fun to look at, and I prefer the “real” beach anyway. The food included in that tour is not very good, but the view and the atmosphere can’t be beat! It’s worth spending the day there. You have to take the ferry back and forth to the ship. Try to save some time to explore downtown Nassau, by the ship. I regret not having a city tour. I never even found the straw market, although we did walk several blocks. I had my hair braided, and really enjoyed that, and the local people, and their sprit. They are pushy though, and will bother you to buy things, and have your hair braided, more than once or twice! We got a kick out of it. Some people just get annoyed. A taxi driver showed us where the other half lived, after seeing such grand wealth at Paradise Island. I don’t recommend going that route, as we paid a hefty price for that little unofficial tour. I would have liked to have seen the flamingos too, but there was too much to fit in one day, and lots of the tours sounded interesting to me. I think we chose the best one, but I wanted to see and do more there. We bought souvenirs for the kid back home at the Pirate museum store. They weren’t that friendly, and neither were the prices, but they have unique merchandise. I found the children on the streets quite entertaining, and enterprising! They would dive in the water for a quarter, and try to talk me into more braids, etc.
Coco Cay- We took the first tender out of the RCCL’s private island, and got ready for a snorkeling tour. It’s best to do that early, and beat the crowd, and get the best view of the fish. At first, it was miserable, with all the gear on, and some of it defective, and then it was hard to get past the rough coral, with flippers on, and I fell several times, but once you get into the deeper water ( the life vest inflates, so you don’t have to be a swimmer, and I’m not), it’s fantastic. I got beautiful photographs of the fish with my underwater camera. And I almost gave up, before we even got started, since it was so difficult to get started. Stick with it. It was a such an experience! Then we relaxed on the beach mats, in the water, which is a good way to avoid the sharp coral rocks, which are everywhere!!
You should reserve one before getting off the ship. The water is crystal clear, and warm, and the beach is beautiful, but the coral scares some people off. The beach hammocks are hard to come by, and very limited, but everyone has a chair, and the Coco Loco man comes around with Coco Locos (yum!) every other minute! Enjoy! The picnic lunch on the island is quite good, with hamburgers and hot dogs, corn on the cob, and fruit and salad, etc. We had a great day there! You can rent banana boats, and other water sport equipment too. There are bathrooms for changing. Coco Cay is delightful.
Safari Swamp Tour in Miami- Just skip this one! You take a bus ride to a tourist trap, for a ride on an airboat., down a narrow strip of “swamp”, and you see a few birds, and some small alligators. Not worth it, unless you love that sort of thing, or have kids with you who do. It would probably appeal to the younger ones. Not the classiest joint around, and that’s an understatement!
All in all, we had a wonderful cruise, and couldn’t wait to go again. We never cruised before, and in 5 months, we are preparing to book our third cruise. So this is the one that hooked us on cruising! It’s so hard to get back to reality. My best advice is to take this trip, But aim for a longer cruise, if possible.