Royal Caribbean LineSovereign the Seas ReviewBahamasJennifer Todes
Number of Cruises: 4
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Sovereign of the Seas
Sailing Date: February 6th, 2006
Itinerary: NOT FOUND
Royal Caribbean Cruise Line
Sovereign of the Seas Cruise Review
My friend and I took a Royal Caribbean cruise to the Bahamas on the Sovereign of the Seas in early February. Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience, although, there are a few things Royal Caribbean could improve to make it a great experience.
We arrived in Cape Canaveral a day early and rented a car. It was easy to get from the airport to Cape Canaveral. I would recommend though, that people try to arrive before sunset though as the highways leading to Cape Canaveral from Orlando do not appear to be well lighted (we drove during the daytime). I wouldn't want to be on those deserted roads when it's dark.
We went to Merritt Island on the day of the cruise. I highly recommend Merritt Island. It's beautiful (lots of native birds and alligators) and if you rent a car you can easily fit it in the morning before departure. I think Royal Caribbean might offer an excursion there, but if you go on your own, it is free.
We boarded around 3pm that day. Boarding was very easy. Arriving later than most other people, there were no lines and it took about 5 minutes to get our Sea Passes, through security, and onto the ship.
Our room was small, but adequate. It was just as I expected. If you have never been on a cruise before, the bathroom size is especially shocking. In most rooms, there is only a shower. On this cruise, part of the shower head was corroded and the water squirted backwards partially. We were going to complain, but we forgot. Also, the water temperature fluctuated between hot and cool. This was irritating after coming back from a day of swimming in the ocean.
Our first stop was CocoCay. This island was beautiful. My friend and I tried the Aqua Park which featured water trampolines and water sea-saws. It was a lot of fun and not very crowded. Then, I tried the water slide. Both the Aqua Park and water slide were expensive ($15 each if purchased together), but I found it well worth it.
The island itself was great. It was large and easy to find a hammock. My friend and I took the nature walk which was nice (although, be aware that walk is long and somewhat tiring, especially for older people).
That evening was formal night. Most men wore suits and women wore dresses. The food was good. Throughout the entire cruise, the food was good. I'm not terribly interested in food though. I like plain food and I found that grilled chicken (offered each night) was perfect.
The next day we went to Nassua. We went on the sting ray snorkel. I read other reviews saying that the sting ray snorkel was disappointing, but I found it to be wonderful. The sting rays have their stingers removed and are kept in an enclosed area of mostly shallow water. When you get into the water, they come right up to you and glide over your legs. Then, staff gives everyone squid to feed the sting rays and they rush up to you and suck the food out of your hands! It's a really fun experience and I highly recommend it.
Later, we went on our own to Adastra Gardens (Royal Caribbean offers an excursion here, but you can take a cab for about $12 each way – Much cheaper than the $30+ per person Royal Caribbean charges). Adastra Gardens was beautiful. We saw lots of parrots and flamingos. I took some great pictures. We also got to feed the lorry parrots. A staff member gives each person in the Lorry Parrot exhibit a piece of apple. Then, you go inside the exhibit and the birds fly and land all over you. It was incredibly fun. Later, we fed some goats (one of which grabbed our map and ate it) and peacocks.
The last full day was spent at sea. I found this mostly boring. I wasn't interested in any of the activities. I took a cruise on Holland America a few years ago and the day at sea was incredibly fun with lots of activities.
On the day at sea, my friend and I wanted to sit out and enjoy ourselves, but we discovered that the sunny and less windy side of the ship was the smoking side. We weren't able to really sit out because of all the smoking.
This leads me to the main problem with this cruise. It allows smoking on half the ship. They even allow smoking inside many of the lounges. The smoking section is one side, but it's not adequately separated and the smoke leaks over into the non-smoking section. Also, smoking is allowed in the cabins and one of the families who had a cabin in our hallway must have been chain smokers because the entire hallway smelled of smoke at times. I really wish Royal Caribbean would either ban smoking all together or else confine it to one small "smoker's room." Further, cigar/pipe smoking is supposedly not allowed on the ship, but we encountered many people smoking pipes and cigars. I wish Royal Caribbean would enforce some of the rules they already have.
Overall, this was a really fun cruise, I just wish smoking wasn't allowed.