Hello......hubby and I are taking our 1st cruise in Sept 05 on the Majesty of the seas. Since this is our 1st cruise, we are needing alot of advice/tips. Is it true that everything on the ship is free? Does this include alcohol drinks? soda's? Any advice you can give us is greatly appreacited. Thanks
Hello...I will try and be brief, even though I could write a book on things to know since you're a first-time cruiser.
First off...The Majesty Of The Seas is an older ship and not one of the new super sized mega ships of Royal Caribbean. That is not a bad thing. We were just on the Splendor, the sister ship of the Majesty and the atmosphere is a bit more subdued, the average age is around 50 and less activities on board. We did not mind this at all. It was a welcome change to the fast paced mega ship atmosphere. The ship you will be on is wonderful. Only you and your family can comment afterward on your cruise esperience. Everyone has a different opinion of each ship, its activities, food, service, etc. You should have a great time.
As far as what comes free, the story goes that everything is not free. The food and certain beverages such as iced tea and punch come with your cabin price that you will be paying. Soda Pop is extra. You can either purchase a sode card for about $35 which gives you unlimited soft drinks, or you can purchase cans of soda for $150-$175 per can. Just remember that the can of soda pop tastes much better than the pop you get from the soda card because that soda comes from the fountain nozzel behind the bar and the mixture is watered down quite a bit. Bottles of Spring water are extra. All alcolholic drinks and wine are extra averaging about $3.50 to $5.95 per drink, plus a 15% gradtuity is added to each drink, bottle of water and soda pop. Gambling in the casino is obviously additional.
In short, your breakfast, lunch, dinner, room service and poolside food is included along with the price of your room, but that is about it. Do fear though. Unless you are a heavy drinker, you should not spend that much. all of the entertainment is also included. If you leave the ship or want to purchase a shore excursion that is also extra.
If you can fly down to your port city a day before the cruise leaves and stay overnight in a hotel, that would be the best advice for a first time cruiser. This allows you to be near the port a day ahead of time and gather your senses before going through the on board proces which in many cases is very smooth and sometimes very time consuming and confusing. If you are leaving out of any other port but Miami, things are much smoother. And if you pruchased transfer from RCCL, you should not have to worry about too much.
Again, I could go into much more detail but I would be writing til next year. If for some reason you would like more info, just e-mail me and I would be more than happy to even call you with more info that could help you.
One piece of moneysaving advice (for what it's worth) pack a small bag (makeup bag) with basic first aid: aspirin, bandaids, motion sickness meds, antacid, etc. The stuff availble onboard the ship is extremely expensive, even more so if you have to see a ship's doctor to get it.
Another quick tip: Pack swimsuits and a change of clothes in your carryon bags.. it may be a while before they get your bags to your cabin. It's nice to be able to change right away.
Also, you can check the status of your shipboard account at anytime during the cruise, you will be asked to give a credit card and given a cruiseline "charge" card at embarkation. It's good to know what you are spending before the final day.. shore excursions, drinks, etc.. can add up quickly.