Number of Cruises: 3
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Sovereign of the Seas
Sailing Date: September 15th, 2006
Itinerary: NOT FOUND
Our trip was a three night (FR-SAT-SUN) trip on the Sovereign starting on Sept 15… and it was a very nice three night get away on a cruise ship. I have done only one 3 night before, and a 1 week cruise, many years ago.
Things are very nice on the Sovereign… First, I want to start out by.. I have been reading the reviews here for about 6 months, and they are every helpful.. So I am not going to repeat the things said over and over again, but, I will make "“highlights” that will help first time Sovereign cruisers, compared to what I got out of the other reviews….
First, I think too many people, complain too much, for there is nothing bad at all about the Sovereign, but a few improvements are warranted…
So lets start with the basics. YES, it is a good idea to get a parking place near the elevator in the parking garage, even if you have to park a few decks higher (like 4 or 5), for it makes it simple when you get back. MOST ALL PARKING IS IN THE GARAGE, and you need to park here.
As mentioned so many times, if you complete your pre-boarding paperwork first, then it is a snap to get on the ship (which we did). If you have small luggage, you can bypass the drop off zone where you first come in. My girl and I had one medium size luggage each (too large for carry on), so we went to the drop off zone and $5 trip is fine. Then park in the garage (you have no other choice which is good by the way – shading for the car). Walk hands free, but remember to have your passport, sea pass printout, and proof of your purchase with you, not in luggage.
Boarding is a snap, and all we had to do is fill out the Bahaman’s card before boarding. From the time we pulled into the port, drop off zone for luggage, in the terminal, and so on…… it was about 40 minutes max before we were taking our first walk inside the ship…. It is so quick and simple!
You arrive on Deck 4. HINT!!!!! Some rooms have in room safes, and some do not. I called ahead of time days before the cruise, and I knew our room did not, so first stop is Guest Relations, to get a Safety Deposit Box!
Boarding starts at 11:00. We decided to get there around noon, and were on the ship by 12.40.
The two main places to eat is the two formal dinning rooms (deck 3 and 4) and the Windjammer on deck 11. The Windjammer is where you will eat on day 1. It is open till 3:30PM for lunch the first day. You room is open at 1:00PM and sometimes, your luggage will arrive later. Munster drill is at 4:00 and the ship leaves at 5:00.
HINT #2, avoid the temptation to start drinking!!! Yes it is a vacation, but a short one too. So do not drink until after dinner, for you will have a better 1st day (just my opinion). Use the afternoon as your time to get lunch, acquainted with the ship, your room, unpack your clothes, Muster drill, watch the ship leave the port…. And before you know it, it is time to get dress for dinner (and I prefer the main seating, verses the late seating for dinner, if you can).
Nothing fancy for clothes, just no shorts for dinner (and jeans with a nice shirt also seems OK, but not me this time)
As has been repeated her before, the “Compass” flyer is your guide to all activities and dinning on the ship. It is left in your cabin each and every day (wonderful!), so you should not need to hunt one up. IF you are missing one, Guest Relations always has one for you (deck 4).
So if you have been good, and avoided the drinks until after dinner, the party is really fun. I leave this part up to you, so enjoy the night.
We like to gamble, and so I wondered about the casino, since I play VP. Most all reviews never talk about this enough, so I will. For VP players, there is nothing really .. Playable.. bad pay tables…. But I was on a cruise ship, and so I expected it, but still played (some). Most tables are low limit, so that means plenty of $5 tables (very nice). The casino offers no “comp” drinks.
For shore excursion, read the reviews.. I need say nothing here is new… Ship activities…. Nothings I can say either…
Food in the Dinning room……and people wine too much in these review site! The food is fine! But I do admit, if you order off the “side menu”, it will not be as good. I did one night, but it was still just fine….
Windjammer, we ate breakfast and lunch here, but you can also have it in the dinning room. People on this review site complain the food is cold. There is some truth to this… But please… if you are getting waffles and French Toast in a buffet, yes, it is going to be cold… Instead, they do “Make to Order” omelets = HOT!… So just be smart about your choices….. and understand the Windjammer is a buffet..OK?
HINT #4 Your Staff here is wonderful! They do things that makes you want to come back again.. The staff is superior! But take in heart one simple thing here…..
These crewmembers work 7 days a week. I also learned, they do either a 4 month, or 6-month term. It is very difficult to work 7 days a week, for 4-6 months, while being friendly to you, and while they also see you partying your ass off! I learned the 6-month staffs get 2.5 months off. The 4 months, I do not know. The RCL staff is superior, helpful, professional, and very friendly.
This should not be HINT #5. It is very difficult, being any human being, to work 7 days a week, for 4-6 months straight, while week after week, everyone else is having a great time. The crew and staff disserve to be treated with respect, consideration, and just simply, like all good human beings deserve. In my observations, I saw most vacationers, knew this inside, for the vacationers were so very kind, polite and considerate of the staff. It seemed to me, the more you give them the respect they are, as good human beings, the more it came back to us. There are the few occasional vacationers that are nasty and whine…….. But overall, the vacationers were very grateful for their services, and they appreciated that simple respect!
Final close out…. As mentioned before, Monday to finally leave the ship, it is done by color code, and this is wonderful! No long lines for Customs…. We were Light Blue and was not called tilled 9:45. But I would rather wait in peace on Deck 11, verses long lines in a hot customs line.
So would I do it again? It is the best 3-day weekend getaway. It is carefree. Food is just fine. Shows are good. Staff is excellent! What more can you ask of a 3 night cruise???????