Royal Caribbean InternationalSovereign the SeasBahamasKate Ashlock
Number of Cruises: 3
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Sovereign of the Seas
Sailing Date: November 7th, 2005
Itinerary: NOT FOUND
Royal Caribbean International
Sovereign of the Seas
This was our third cruise, and we were inspired to take it by both it's proximity to our original planned destination (Orlando) and also the TLC documentary 'A Cruise Ship Reborn' which featured a lightening fast reno on this 18 year old vessel.
We were very fortunate to have good weather, despite forecasts to the contrary. This allowed for very pleasant stops in both Coco Cay and Nassau.
The renovation seems to have worked very well, as all rooms and public areas were fresh looking and updated. The ship was being well maintained as well and looked great. We choose the economical ocean view obstructed room on deck 8. The obstruction was minimal and the sailing was extremely smooth, we noticed very little movement.
Our cabin was tiny, and somewhat lacking in amenities. No room safe, fridge nor much closet space to speak of. The shower had improper drainage and our bathroom floor was frequently soaked after even a brief shower.
Our room was kept in great order by our stateroom attendant Mario, and we enjoyed the usual towel animals and turndown service. In room television featured recently run movies which was a great way to get yourself to sleep after a long day in the sun.
Shipboard Activities and Meals:
I didn't feel that there was a whole lot of activities going on, compared to what I've seen on previous cruises. This could also be due to the fact that I've had enough of the art auctions and expensive bingo games they have on all cruises. I missed the games/card room and the so-called library had very poor selection. We are not much for the broadway style shows so we did not see any of these. We did see some onboard musicians, all of whom seemed reasonably talented. We also saw comedian Rick Starr and quite frankly, found his act to be dated and not too funny. That was disappointing as we love stand up comedy. The only other comedian was playing at 11:15pm the night before disembarkation, which we were too tired to attend, especially knowing we would be up early the next day. Wished they had shown him (even at that late hour) earlier in the cruise. I realize travel arranagements are an issue with bringing in onboard entertainment but it was still a letdown.
Due to the casual nature of this short cruise, we opted out of the formal dining room experience entirely, and ate exclusively at the buffet. This was totally for our own convenience. We found the food to be reasonable with a few stand outs but there was a real issue in keeping the buffet food hot (or even warm). The system they used seemed like it should work but it didn't really, and we ate a lot of lukeroom food. I'm sure hot food is not an issue in the dining room, and it seemed like the same choices were available at both venues. We did enjoy all of the baked goods from bread to desserts. We were also happy to see the lemonade in the dining room (not available on Princess) as well as a fruit punch occasionally.
We really missed the poolside grill which is non-existent here. So much so, that we paid the $4 cover charge for the privledge of eating burgers at Johnny Rockets. We also paid for our soda (cherry and vanilla coke, yummy!) and got great service from Natalie. Granted, we really enjoyed the food, but were a little peeved we really had no other way of getting a hamburger on ship (except Room Service).
Food at Coco Cay was cold hot dogs and burgers with some good salads. Nothing remarkable but better than nothing! Definitely try a Coco Loco as it is fabulous.
Ports of Call:
We thought Coco Cay was very nice, clean with beautiful beaches that seemed untouched by all the recent hurricane activity. Surprisingly, we had trouble getting a drink here as the roving waiters seemed to be ignoring us. I eventually walked over to a bar and purchased two Coco Locos which were great. The water was gorgeous and there are tons of beach chairs to lie in. There are also plenty of paid activities you can participate in, but lying in a chair in the partial shade, reading, and sipping our drinks suited us just fine. A very relaxing and enjoyable day.
Nassau was very typical of any Caribbean port - pastel buildings, lots of trees and plenty of things to buy. We opted to walk around on our own and visited the Straw Market, the pier and Senor Frogs. I finally got sucked in and bought some tanzanite jewelry which I do love. The Straw Market was interesting, and all the store clerks praise you endlessly before, after and during a sale. We couldn't see what all the fuss was about at Senor Frogs as the service and the venue itself were nothing to write home about. I did very much enjoy my Banana Rana. We didn't visit Atlantis, but boy, does it stand out of the landscape when you dock at the pier. There were plenty of cabs for those wanting to do more on their own private tour.
It was neat to see the ship from the documentary and check out all the changes they made. We did enjoy ourselves and were very happy about the beautiful weather. That being said, this was our least favourite cruise of the three we've now taken. That doesn't mean it was awful (far from it) but just pales in comparison to our other experiences with Princess and Carnival. Still for a first cruise or quick escape, I'm sure you will have a good time.