Denise and Family
Number of Cruises: First Cruise
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Sovereign of the Seas
Sailing Date: June 30th, 2002
Denise and Family
This was our first cruise to Bahamas (husband, son 13yrs old and me) with an extended Universal Studios Florida vacation. We had a great time during our entire vacation.
Embarkation - We are from New Jersey so we flew down to Florida (we booked our own flight and purchased the RCI transportation to and from port) a day before the cruise and stayed at the Embassy Suites Orlando Airport for one night (very nice hotel). The next morning, we arrived at the RCI shuttle at the airport around 9:45 a.m. because the shuttle was going to leave at 10 a.m. It takes about approximately 53 minutes from Orlando to Port Canaveral and I read on previous reviews to get there early because of the long lines and the embarkation process. The RCI shuttle did not arrive until 11 a.m. because the air condition broke down. We arrived at Port Canaveral Terminal about 12 noon and there were a lot people already there. THIS SHIP IS HUGE. SHE MAY BE OLD BUT STILL LOOKS AWESOME. Once you get off the shuttle, you identify your entire luggage for the porters take to your cabin – we did give the porter a tip for taking our luggage. Once you’re inside the terminal, you have to fill out an embarkation form for customs. This is a waste of time. There were confused people everywhere. This form should have been mailed ahead of time. Once filled out, you take the escalator to the next level. Make sure you have all of your important forms, i.e., passport or birth certificate, picture ID and all of your Royal Caribbean forms. We waited in line about 40 minutes. Once you get your Royal Caribbean supercharge card (used for ID and purchasing duty free goods (ship is cashless), you go through security. After security check, you will have to show your ID about three more times, so don’t put it away yet. Once you’re in, you are already on Deck 4 Centrum on the ship. My son signed up for the Adventure Ocean Program for teenagers – Navigators. There are people welcoming you onboard and encouraging you to go the Welcome Aboard Buffet on Deck 11 Windjammer Cafe. At the Centrum, there is band playing live music.
Stateroom - We went to our cabin, which was the Mariner Deck 8 Oceanview. We saw luggages were still on a cart once we got off the elevator. RCI staff is supposed to deliver them to your cabin, but my husband saw all of our luggages and decided to takes it to the cabin himself. Most of the cabins on Deck 8 are obstructed view (lifeboats). Fortunately, we had a great view. I expected our cabin to be small from the reviews I read. The word small is an understatement. When they say small, they mean small. However, there is plenty of closet space but we had to shove some of our luggages under the bed because there was no more space available. We had packed more than we should have because of our extended vacation to Florida after the cruise. If you are only taking the 4-day cruise, pack lightly. The bathroom is really small. I barely can turn around in the shower. The bathroom is “microscopic”. Our cabin attendant was Kenrick from Jamaica. He was great in keeping our cabin clean. He also made animals out of our towels. It was very cute. Although it was small, the cabin is cozy. Oh, I forgot to tell you that this Deck is the Music Man Lounge. If you are a light sleeper, you can here the music at 2 a.m. Our cabin was 8070. If you get a cabin higher than that number, you will definitely here the music.
Food – We were scheduled for the Kismet Dining room, Main seating. The food was delicious. Our waiter’s name is Minham or Menham from India. He was nice and made sure the food was okay and if we needed anything else to just ask. He made my son comfortable at the dinner table by telling jokes. He was great. We also ate at the Windjammer Café for breakfast and lunch. The food is pretty good but not as good as the main dinner room. We didn’t buy the unlimited soft drink card because we do not drink many sodas. We drink a lot of water. They also had lemonade and ice tea at the Café for free. The Captain’s Ball was very nice. The food was exceptional. Everybody really dressed formal. There was a photographer taking pictures in the Centrum. I also went to the Midnight Chocolate Buffet. This so was spectacular to see. There were so many desserts all around the Kismet Dining room. I took a lot of pictures of the chocolate sculptures. My husband and son were asleep, so I went by myself.
Ports of Call – We did not get a chance to go to Coco Cay because the Captain announced over the public system that there was a bad storm. We were very disappointed. The only thing we purchased was the Floating Beach Mat, which we did get a refund. There was a long line for refunds at the shore excursion’s desk. If you go on this ship, don’t be surprised that you will not go to Coco Cay due to bad weather. I really wanted to try the Coco Loco drink that everybody has been telling me about. We sailed straight to Nassau. It had stop raining and the sun came out. We went shopping on Bay Street and also the Straw Market. It was very crowded and hot at the Straw Market, so I just bought a shirt and left. That night, we tour the Atlantis on our own. What a site to see. It is very huge with an awesome aquarium inside. Then we took a taxi, which was a limousine back to the ship. The driver only charged $4 per person. It was a nice stretch limo. I thought that was so cool. The next day, we spend it at Paradise Island Beach. I’ve never seen water so green and clear. There were fishes swimming by my leg. It was amazing thing to see. The weather was just great. Next time we will go snorkeling. That night on the ship, there was a midnight buffet and a party around the pool. Everybody was dancing to the Caribbean music and eating different ethnic foods. We had a great time. It last until 1 a.m.
Day at Sea – We had fun during the day at sea. You barely can find a chair around the pool because it was so crowded. There were so many activities going on, i.e., ice sculpture demonstration, men sexy leg contest, belly flop contest, karaoke, and comedy to name a few. You will get a Compass on your first day of the cruise that will tell you all what is schedule for that day. Each day is full of activities. We went to a few entertainment shows and comedy. It was nice. There are many onboard shopping on Deck 5. The boutiques are very nice. I got some good deals on the last day of the cruise. My son went to the Adventure Ocean Program with other teenagers. He also had fun playing basketball and miniature golf on the ship. You can feel the ship rock a little bit, but I didn’t get sick. I was kind of worried that I will have motion sickness since this was my first cruise. Actually, the rocking kind of put me to sleep.
Disembarkation - The night before we disembarked, it was instructed that you put all of your luggage outside your cabin before 11 p.m. to be picked up. Make sure you plan what you are going to wear the next day. You will have to put your night clothes in you carry-on bag. The next morning at 7 a.m., we ate breakfast in the Kismet Dining Room and waited until our luggage color tag was call. The first color was called around 9:00 a.m. We were the second color to be called. Disembarkation went really fast. You fill out your customs form and off you go. We were in Orlando about 10 a.m. At least we did not have to catch a flight because we stayed in Orlando for another five days. What a great vacation. We would like to try RCI’s 7 day cruise on the mega ship next time. You can email me if you have any questions – email@example.com .