Occupation:US Army Civilian
Number of Cruises: 3
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Sovereign of the Seas
Sailing Date: December 22nd, 2006
Itinerary: NOT FOUND
This was my 3rd cruise
(Holland America Western Caribbean, and Transatlantic) but 1st on Royal
Caribbean. We wanted to get away for Christmas this year and had limited options
as far as sailing dates and ports to sail from.
Overall, the experience was pleasant, but a few things need to be mentioned;
Registered on-line prior to the cruise, but did not receive any booklets in the mail that others got. Hint: if you are going to board early expect your luggage to be delivered to your room last as they will be farthest in the back in the luggage hold area.
Boarding was a breeze,
took no more than a few minutes to get the room cards. There was some confusion
where to drop off your suitcases to be taken to the ship, complete opposite
direction from where you check in.
The rooms were VERY small. We booked two cabins, one ocean view and one interior across from it. The toilet didn't flush but they fixed that right away. The room was so tiny we had a problem storing the suitcases and had to rearrange the small table to make room. On top of that, they filled up the room with a bunch of crap, like magazines, glass and drink trays that takes away from the already small desk area. There was a constant smell of urine in the bathroom. I did not get that clean feeling the whole time. There was also a constant sewage smell on deck 3.
The whole ship was extremely crowded at near full capacity and it took some effort getting through crowds. The elevators were always full and not enough for so many people so we took the stairs most of the time. I have not experienced any of this on Holland America (Oosterdam and Westerdam) The Sovereign is 20 years old and it shows. The pool area was disappointing, the cocktails on the other hand were great, my 8-year old son enjoyed the rock climbing and we had super weather the whole time.
Nassau: The lines to get
off the ship were backed up 4 levels. If you are claustrophobic, or crowd-phobic
this is not the ship for you. Nassau itself was not what I expected, but the
beaches are beautiful.
Coco Cay was paradise, in fact I liked it more than Half Moon Cay (HAL's private island). What I didn't like was that everything is an extra cost, even the slide and the water playground. Talking about events on Coco Cay; the water playground was not open, neither could you schedule an afternoon kayak tour. As I found out from the crew, they were on minimum staff due to the holidays and didn't have people to man the tour in the afternoon and have them to supervise the water playground. Ours was the only ship that day and it was very peaceful.
The shows were pretty good, the crew was perfect, courteous and really tried their best to make a difference. I was impressed with the food and the food choices. The only complaints:
1.plastic mugs, cups, trays in Windjammers - gave a school cafeteria feeling which I hated.
2. Also Windjammers had a constant odor, so bad in the mornings that I had to run out to the pool area and get some fresh air because I couldn't tolerate it. Needless to say, I didn't eat there in the morning even though the selection was far greater, not at all comparable to the dining room, for breakfast choices.
Ice cream; there was free, serve yourself ice cream (somebody posted a review they missed it and Carnival has it).
The crew did a great job on Christmas decorations, and kids' programs, Santa Claus came down the chimney of the ship and free gifts for all kids were given according to their age on Christmas Day. There was a very nicely done Christmas caroling event on Christmas Eve in the atrium area.
My overall experience was good and I would cruise with RCCL in the future. My only reservation is about the huge number of people trying to get off the ship at one time.