Royal Caribbean InternationalSovereign the SeasBahamasKen Crow
Number of Cruises: 13
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Sovereign of the Seas
Sailing Date: August 29th, 2005
Itinerary: NOT FOUND
Royal Caribbean International
Sovereign of the Seas
Our first cruise was aboard the Sovereign in 1995. We love cruising, and this one was our thirteenth. It was just my wife and me on this one.
RCCL had just done a major renovation to the ship at the end of 2004, adding some balcony cabins and re-decorating all of the public rooms and staterooms. They did a wonderful job, and the ship was beautiful, except on the sport deck (basketball, table tennis, etc.) they apparently didn't replace the rubberized deck and it looked dirty and shabby.
We did main seating at a table for six. Our table mates were lots of fun, and the waiter and assistant waiter (or "waitress", since both were women) were professional and efficient. They took pains to learn our names the first night, and to call us by name whenever appropriate. We've had wait staff that were more "fun", but we certainly couldn't fault these two. The menu selections were not as good as on other cruises, perhaps because this was just a little four-day. Regardless, the selections were just not up to par, but what they offered was all well prepared and presented. I missed lobster, though. Darn!
As usual, they did a great job of pool games, and had some great entertainment.
And the ports were wonderful. My wife had been talking about going to the Bahamas for a while, so I booked this one for her 40th birthday. Her birthday was spend in Nassau, touring the town and the Atlantis resort (a must see). Absolutely perfect!! The other stop was Coco Cay, RCCL's private island, and it is too good to believe. This was our second time there (first was in 1995, before it was wiped out by a hurricane). It was beautifully repaired, and maybe better than I remembered. The snorkeling is great, with lots of fish (bring some cat food, put a few pieces in the water, and you'll be surrounded) in pristine, clear blue water. They put on an excellently organized barbeque with really good food. Another near perfect day.
My only real criticism is that, when they did the remodel, they added a "Johnny Rockets" hamburger restaurant in a sort of "food court" (which was a neat idea), and added a $3.95 "cover charge". This is the first time I've been on a cruise (and we've cruised RCCL, Celebrity, and Princess) when they have not had a complementary hot dog/hamburger grill, and my wife has this "thing" for hamburgers by the pool for lunch. And, it's really the new attitude of cruise lines to "nickel and dime" that bothers me. It used to be that soft drinks and ice cream were available all day, free, during the cruise, and not both are available only at extra charge, and all the ships have restaurants with "cover charges". I would guess that the nightly shows, and maybe the dance places, will come with "cover charges" in the future if we (the cruisers) don't loudly complain. I did write RCCL about this very topic, and my disappointment with the "cover charge" for Johnny Rockets, recently. I would urge others to do the same. As I told RCCL, freedom from "nickel and diming" is one of the things most attractive about cruising, as opposed to land based vacations.
But, overall, this was another great cruise, and RCCL is one of the best lines.