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Darin

Age: 36

Occupation:Law Enforcement

Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Sovereign of the Seas

Sailing Date: October 15th, 2004

Itinerary: Bahamas


We sailed on a three-day cruise on Sovereign of the Seas departing on Friday October 15th. The group consisted of my wife and I, along with my sister and her husband. This was their second cruise, but it had been 14 years since their last. We live in Georgia, so it was a pretty reasonable drive down to Port Canaveral. We drove down I-75 to the Florida Turnpike. From there we took the Turnpike to Hwy. 528, straight to the port. This is our third cruise. Our last cruise was on the Sovereign in 2000 on a 4-day Bahamas cruise. This trip was much different than the last. On our last cruise we wound up with two days at sea because the weather was too bad for Cocoa Cay.

We got to the port around 12:30pm. We dropped the girls and the luggage off and parked our car in the parking deck. It took no longer than 15 minutes for both couples to get through the initial check in and onto the ship. We went to our rooms and dropped off a few items. The rooms were pretty much as we remembered from our last cruise in 2000. This was a basic inside stateroom. Our last time on the ship we had a room with a porthole. Our room was tight, but adequate. As everyone has mentioned in other reviews, it was in need of new carpet and minor cosmetic repairs. We had no other mechanical problems. The shower was actually very strong and hot. It was better than the one I have at home.

We had lunch in the Windjammer Café. It was pretty good. There were pasta dishes, fish, chicken, and carved meats. There was also a variety of vegetables and salad. They also had five or six different deserts. After that we looked around the ship. There wasn’t much different than our last trip. We had the muster drill around 4:30, and then set sail around 5 p.m. This is the first time we cruised with someone we knew, and we really enjoyed it. There appeared to be a lot of “groups” on the ship this time. There were several large wedding parties, and groups of “red hat ladies”. I knew what they were because my mom is a member.

We went to our rooms and got ready for dinner. We had early seating. I prefer this due to the fact that I don’t like to eat supper between 8:30 and 10:00 p.m. We met our waiter and assistant. They were very proficient and performed the job adequate.

As far as the meals go, I would have to say the food was pretty good. Some items were much better than others. My wife’s prime rib was cooked correctly, but tough. I liked most of the appetizers and soups. The menu setup had changed since our last cruise. The food was different also. I usually ordered two appetizers or entrees, and we would share and sample the food between all of us. I thought the cheesecake wasn’t very good, but enjoyed most everything else. The brownie with chocolate mouse was dry and tasteless. But the apple pie was excellent. The best meal of the weekend was the filet steak on formal night. There was only one midnight buffet on this cruise. We were disappointed by this, and had really looked forward to the chocolate buffet we had on the four-day cruise. They did serve limited snacks in some of the bars and casino at midnight, but I can guarantee you that it wasn’t very much. The cruise was sold out. I think a lot of people had the misconception of a nightly midnight buffet. I heard several people complaining that all they had was pizza. The line for the pizza was very long between midnight and 1 a.m. There was one guy making the pizza and he did more dancing and showing off for the ladies than anything else. The Caribbean buffet on the second night was pretty good. It was spread out around the pool area. The lines were not very long and seemed to flow pretty well. The only problem was there was really no place to sit and eat. The buffet consisted of several stations of different types of food. There was one Mexican station with make your own, tacos, steak and chicken fajitas, and all the fixings. There was also another station with jerk chicken and other items. There was a whole hog at the carving station. There was a fruit fondue area, and a large desert area with ice and chocolate carvings.

On day two we were in Nassau. The ship didn’t let us off until around 11:30 a.m. We took a taxi to the Atlantis. On our last trip we did the string ray snorkel excursion, and I highly recommend it. We wanted to do something different this time. You have to exit through the colorful building on the pier. When you hit the street there will be plenty of people offering taxis. I had heard the taxi drivers were pretty bad, but found that not to be the case. Actually, after you’ve ridden in a shuttle or taxi in New York from JFK to Manhattan, it was a piece of cake. Anyway, in ten minutes we were at the Atlantis. I was thirsty when we arrived and was directed to the bar for a beverage. I wanted water, but all they had was a small 16 oz bottle for $3 and a large bottle for $6 and neither was cold. I told the bartender that I didn’t want to drink warm water. The bartender offered me two large glasses of ice water for free, so I graciously accepted. The girls had cokes. We walked around and decided to go on “The Dig” tour. It was $29 per person, and well worth it. The tour lasted about an hour. Afterwards, we took a taxi back to the straw market area and did some shopping. You will get a shopping map before you leave the ship. It gives you a good layout for where the stores are located, even if you don’t go to the recommended stores.

Day three was Cocoa Cay. We were very happy that we were able to visit the island. It was much nicer than I expected. Everything seemed very organized. We got there by 9:30 a.m. We went snorkeling several times. There was some jellyfish, but I saw no one get hurt other than a few minor stings. I only saw one the entire day. The sun came out around lunchtime, and warned things up. We did the barbeque thing with burgers, hotdogs, ribs, salads, pastas, beans, salad, and assorted deserts. My wife and sister got their hair braided. My sister got her entire head done for $70. My wife got half of hers done for $30. It was a nice relaxing day in the sun. And the Coco Loco was a great drink.

We tried to take part in as much as we could while on the ship. We went to all of the shows, and also went to Battle of the Sexes, Love and Marriage game, and the Quest game. We won first place on the Quest…great teamwork. All of the shows were very good and I felt like it was all done in good taste. It is impossible to do everything, but we had a full schedule for the entire three days. We played bingo one time. It was $35 to play five games. That gave you six cards to play for each game. The last game was a $1,000 jackpot, but they don’t tell you everything until you’ve bought the card. The jackpot game only pays $1,000 if you win in the first 48 numbers called. After that it’s much lower like $170. Needless to say no one won the “jackpot” on the cruise. We also went into the casino a few times and played slots.

On the last morning we ate breakfast and waited for our color to be called. We were off the ship and headed back to Georgia by 9:30 a.m. This was a great short cruise, but I think I would prefer the four day cruise again. I look forward to trying the SOS after all the repairs and upgrades next month. FYI, the front deck basketball area was closed. They had a crew pulling up all the flooring in that area. Also both theaters were closed, but they showed Shrek 2 playing in one of the lounges.

If you have any questions you can email me at darin2@alltel.net . You can also view pictures from our cruise at:

http://www.imagestation.com/album/?id=2937240093&code=12458891&mode=invite&cmp=EMC-AlbumInvite

If you want to view the high resolution pictures, simply click on the photo, and then click “view original image”. The pics are about 3mb each so a high speed connection is recommended.

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