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Nancy Maynard

Age: 43

Occupation:Business Owner

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Sovereign of the Seas

Sailing Date: March 28th, 2005

Itinerary: Bahamas

My best friend and I took our teenage daughters on our very first cruise. We were apprehensive after reading some of the reviews, but we had a great time!

Embarkment. Our embarkment went fairly smooth. One important thing-have all your customs paperwork filled out before you reach the check-in counter. Also be prepared to have your picture taken as you board the ship (the first of many times). Cabins are available after 1 pm, we arrived about 1:30 and our luggage showed piece by piece over the next 3 hours. After checking out the cabins, we headed up to the Windjammer Buffet for lunch. The food was OK, nothing great.

Cabins. Our cabin was 3090, my friend and her daughter were in 3092. They were “oceanview”, in reality we had 2 portholes, which were OK. 3090 appeared to be above a service door, during the night in Nassau we heard things rolling back and forth most of the night. The cabins were adequate space-wise. Your suitcases and carry-ons fit well under the beds. I brought a fan and I was glad I did. Otherwise the cabin would have been a bit stuffy.

Food. Other than the day we boarded, we only ate breakfast in the Windjammer Buffet. Dinners in the main dining room were wonderful. You can order as many courses as you want, and the entrees are all you can eat, bit save room for dessert! I had wonderful escargot, and the steaks were perfectly done. Our headwaiter, Jerry, was super! Be prepared to have your picture taken every night at dinner except for the last night. The pizza was free and not bad. Our daughters loved it. We were so tired at the end of the days that we didn’t make any of the midnight buffets.

Shore Excursions. We brought our own snorkel and masks along (after bad experiences renting snorkels in Hawaii) and it was a great idea. We found our own shore excursion in Nassau – Stuart Cove’s Aquatic Adventures. It was an awesome experience. They pick you up “about” 11:45 am at the pier. Of course Bahamas “about” and the States “about” are two different things! At 12:15 I was looking for a phone to call and see where they were (Nassau’s phone system is something to avoid) when they puttered up. The dive site is about a 45 minute ride, and we got to see some of the island. When we got there we were taken to 3 dive sites, the last included a swim with sharks. This was an experience not to be missed! On Coco Cay we didn’t do any excursions, but took our snorkels out and went to where everyone else was snorkeling. It worked out well. A note about calling home from Nassau-my friend called home using her credit card and it was about $90 for a 20-minute call. I used my AT&T calling card and it was about $60 for the same call length. Do not use the phones by the ship, go inside the terminal and use those phones. I could not access AT&T by the ships.

Internet Access. I had to keep in touch with home, and I brought my laptop and wireless card along. It worked fine in the places that were designated for access (not in the cabins). It was a bit pricey, at about .50 per minute, but it allowed me to get what business done that I had to.

Seasickness. I get motion sick easily and the previous times I had been on dinner cruises I ended up feeling queasy. I took along Dramamine and prescription patches. The first night at sea was rough, you had to occasionally hold on to something while you were shopping and you could see the ship rolling when we were in the dining room. I took some Dramamine then, but for the rest of the cruise I didn’t have to take anything.

Overall Experience. We had a great time and I have already booked another cruise for December with my husband. I highly recommend this as a first cruise!

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