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Tim Marsh

Age: 40


Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Sovereign of the Seas

Sailing Date: June 3rd, 2005

Itinerary: Bahamas

Wonderful cruise all around. We arrived at the ship around noon, and by 1:30 pm we were sitting poolside watching our 5-year old son having a blast. Oh ya, before hitting the pool(s) we ate lunch first at the Windjammer Restaurant. Not a meager lunch either. Baked salmon, salad, chocolate tart thing for dessert.

Check-in was a breeze. Less than thirty minutes from the time we parked to actually stepping onboard the ship. I could not believe how efficient the entire RC staff was. Security was tight, but very efficient.

Our room was ready by 1:00, our luggage was delivered by 2:00. Probably earlier, but we were at the pool having too much fun to visit our room.

Our room was spotless. Cabin 6048. Nothing fancy, but great for the three of us. We ended up tipping our room attendant about $30.00 extra in that she was amazing. Every day she left towel "animals" for our son, put away our clothes and bags, and made sure we had plenty of sodas and water. The turn down service with chocolates every night was a nice touch.

We ate in the main dining room the first night. The service was wonderful, the food was nothing to brag about. However. the Windjammer Restaurant was the place to eat. The Windjammer is an upscale buffet, featuring everything from Thai noodles with a peanut sauce to baked salmon. Every day I ate sushi (several times). The omelet station(s) during breakfast (7:00 to 11:00) were wonderful. Forget about the main dining room..especially if you are traveling with young kids. FYI, tropical drinks are offered everywhere and range from about $5.75 to $7.00 each, always served in a souvenir RCL glass or cup.

Speaking of kids, the kids program is second to none. Our son, age 5, could not wait until the "center" opened (9:00 am). We felt a little guilty the first time leaving him there, but when we went to pick him up, he didn't want to leave. Security in the kids area was very tight, and the facilities looked liked they were designed by Crayola. Beepers were provided to all parents of children 3 and under. Our son took "field trips" to Sorento's pizza, explored the ship, had water balloon fights at Coco-Cay, make a ton of craft items, etc... Don't get me wrong, he spent tons of time with Mom and Dad, but RCL really bent over backwards to make sure the kids have fun.

The onboard gym, remodeled last year, was better than any gym I have every visited on land. Most mornings I was the first person there and spent an hour exercising while looking out over the ocean. The equipment was new and in perfect shape. Plenty of classes too, from Pilates to aerobics. Most were $10.00.

Having been to Nassau before, my wife and I took our son to "Phirana's" to buy a t-shirt and then we went back to the ship. Phirana's has a great t-shirt selection and good quality. On our Nassau day, we hung out by the pool, ate pizza, played games and explored the ship.

Coco Cay, the private RCL island, was so relaxing. The water was crystal clear up to about 100 yards out. The swimming area is actually a secure bay with lifeguard stations all over the place. Beautiful shells everywhere, despite being visited by thousands of people each month. Do as much as you want, or as little as you want. Lunch was a giant BBQ with chicken and burgers. Great food. There was also some pretty good shopping. RCL ferry's local merchants from a large neighboring island (5-miles away)  to Coco Cay whenever a ship is in port. Only a handful of maintenance people actually live on the island.

The Sovereign staff really went out of their way. I met the Captain while in line at Ben & Jerry's and he was more than willing just to chat with anyone who approached him.

Onboard shopping was limited, but the prices were descent. A word of advice. If you are buying liquor, buy it onboard. It's cheaper than the Bahamas ( we compared the prices at several shops) and RCL will box it and deliver it right to your room.

Almost forgot. Sovereign has an art auction on each cruise. Beautiful original artwork. No dime store stuff. Had we known this, we could have brought more money.

Debarkation was a breeze. You are called to leave the ship by the color of your luggage tag. There were about 24 colors. Unfortunately, we were dead last (pink ??), but once we left the ship we had our luggage and were in our car within 20-minutes.

The cruise was worth every penny. In fact, we're planning our next cruise for this coming April to the Western Caribbean. Please e-mail me if you would like to see some pictures of the Sovereign.

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