Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Sovereign of the Seas
Sailing Date: July 3rd, 2006
Itinerary: NOT FOUND
This was my 3rd cruise with Royal Caribbean. I enjoyed it very much, I traveled with my husband and two daughters 13 and 15.
We got on the ship early. After the 2nd cruise I learned you can get there early! We arrived at Port Canaveral at 10:30 and we started boarding the ship at 11:40am. We had the entire afternoon to explore and of course eat. We went to the Windjammer right away as it does get crowded. We did not purchase the soda passes as there is free lemonade on the deck by the pool all the time, and its really good. We brought a couple cokes on our suitcase for emergencies....there were also cans of soda in the room for $1.50 which I thought was reasonable. If you want the soda pass, get there early so you can get the souvenir cup as they will run out of them and all you will get is a sticker on your sea pass. If you get on the ship early take your bathing suit and whatever else you'll need for the day in a backpack. You wont be able to get into your stateroom until 1pm. We had shirts on a hanger which we checked at the desk and they delivered them to our stateroom before we even got there. Our stateroom was on deck 4, which was convenient to the dining room.
We reserved our wave runner trip as soon s the deck for excursions opened. If you book the first wave runner trip of the days at Coca Cay (9am) you get the passenger for free! That saved us $60 and we were quite excited about that! The trips fill up fast so get there early.
Our first day was Coca Cay. We got up late as our wake up call did not come....we rushed through breakfast and lined up for the first tender of the day. You check in for the wave runner and all other excursions on deck 2. The forms are filled out then too. You must be on the first tender for the first wave runner trip though. We got on our wave runners after a short safety video. We could see an enormous black cloud in the distance and were worried about the weather. We rode as fast as possible then stopped several times for our guide to tell us interesting facts about Coco Cay and the Bahamas. The last 10 minutes of the ride it started to pour. We went back to the dock and stood in the lagoon for 15 minutes while it continued to pour. My 13 year old was stung by an invisible jelly fish. Then it started to thunder so we had to seek shelter. We huddled under a grass hut for an hour and half while it rained and debated what to do. Around 11:30 it started to let up. There were huge puddles everywhere. Then the sun came out the cooks prepared lunch and we ate. The hamburgers were made with really cheap beef and there were pieces of bone in it. This was definitely the worst food we had on the trip. The punch was tasteless, The cookies were good though. The sun stayed out for an hour or so. We went to the first aid hut and got vinegar for my daughters jelly fish sting. That works wonders by the way! My 15 year old and my husband went snorkeling., We brought our own mask and snorkel and were not required to rent the vest. My 15 year old said there were sunken airplanes in the water and millions of fish surround them. She LOVED it. My 13 year old did the SeaTrek Aqua Park for $15 and had a good time until it started to thunder again. I walked on the nature trail and saw huge iguana. I was concerned with the thunder as I was out on the trail and didn't know how far it was. I had to cut across the island via a road to get back. We had huge lightning and thunder but little rain for the rest of the day We were not able to swim and went back to the ship earlier than we wanted. Coco Cay is beautiful and I hope to return on a better weather day!
The next day was Nassau. Our wakeup call was early this time.....we booked the first Rainbow Reef Snorkeling Tour of the day. It was fantastic. They took us through the harbor to a reef. We say many beautiful fish. After an hour snorkeling (which was plenty of time as we were tired!) we returned to the dock. By this time the clouds were building again. We went back to the ship for lunch as its close to the dock. We eyed the skies and tried to decide what to do. We wanted to go to the beach, but didn't want to pay allot of money and sit in the rain. We decided to go for it and signed up for the Blackbeard's Cay Beach Break excursion. Big mistake!!! The boat ride was nice as it went from the dock in the opposite direction our snorkeling trip had taken. We arrived at a beautiful little island across from the Marriott. Most of the island is used by the Sandals Resort so you cant explore it. You are stuck on this one little beach. They have a stingray exploration option to this trip. The stingray are in a fenced in area next to the dock. It seemed very cruel. We have fed stingrays on Grand Cayman out in the ocean. This was totally different. They had a loud speaker which seemed to be constantly in use welcoming boats in and directing the passengers to the bar and gift shop. My 13 year old got stung after 3 minutes in the water by another jelly fish. The first aid place had a sign on the door to stand there and wait for help. We waited 15 minutes and no one came. So I went in and searched through their cupboards. They didn't have any vinegar but had sunscreen spray which did help a little. We went back to our chairs and noticed a huge black cloud was very close. I started grabbing our stuff and before I could get it all, it started to pour. We ran back to the boat which luckily had come back early for us and my younger daughter was really frightened. Our excursion was cut short by one hour. It was interesting to see the beach there but it's not worth the cost. We were glad we didn't pay extra for the Stingray Snorkel.
Our last day was at sea. We request no wake up call...............it came the time we had requested for Nassau. Again another nice morning. I got on deck at 10:30am and got one of the last chairs. I settled down with my book with one eye on the clouds. In the distance was a black horizon. The staff started a charcoal grill and set out tables for food. By 11:30am we were in a fierce thunderstorm. The staff packed up the grill and tables in the rain. We went up to the bar at the very top of the ship....it's a circular room and watched the storm. It was incredible. The lightning went down into the ocean. The sea was calm though and didn't bother us a bit. We were concerned as the dance class on the deck continued during allot of the storm. After 15 minutes I went down to deck 7 where you can sit under the lifeboats on some really comfortable wooden lounge chairs that look like they came from the Titanic. You could really enjoy the storm from there. Some of the crew were even taking pictures of the lightning. The storm let up but the sun never came back out. It continued to be cloudy and rainy the rest of the day. None of the scheduled activities outside were held. The rock climbing wall (and contest) were closed the rest of the day.
I enjoyed the Sovereign as it's a smaller ship and you can get to one end to the other easily. There is a sewer odor in certain places at certain times. We sailed the Navigator (which is a gorgeous ship), and we were with friends who had a stateroom in the back of the ship. Ours was in the front. It took 15 minutes to walk to their cabin. I used one of the public restrooms once and it had water all over the floor and I don't want to tell you what the toilet looked like. I had to tell the desk to have it cleaned. Gross! Use the bathroom in your cabin to avoid germs. The cabin was spotless and quiet. We never heard a sound from the hallway or other rooms. Do not rely on the walkup call service. I will bring my own clock in the future.
The ships staff was great and we had wonderful service everywhere we went. We had no problems putting our stuff on the metal detectors going back on the ship. You are fight next to them how could you lose your bag?
Do the 9am wave runner at Coca Cay (the passenger is free) Do the Sea Trek Rainbow Reef Snorkeling Tour in Nassau. Do NOT go to Blackbeard's Cay in Nassau - it's cheesy. Eat the pizza at Sorrento's, on Deck 11. It's great and free. Shops in Nassau closed at 5:30 when we were there. Have fun!!!