A little background first. This was my 11th cruise and my first on Royal Caribbean. My friends and I booked this cruise as a "Chicks" getaway for a long weekend. Though I had a great time, I really don't think I will do a 4 day or shorter cruise again - they are just way too short!
Thursday 11/4/04 - was supposed to fly from Milwaukee to Miami on ATA with a change of plane in Chicago (Midway.) Supposed to arrive in Miami about 5:00pm and join my friend Jennifer at the Holiday Inn Downtown/Bayside and go eat some Cuban food and drink some mojitos at the Latin American Club at Bayside. The rest of our group was meeting up in Fort Lauderdale that evening and driving to Miami the next morning.
Well, the best laid plans of cruisers sometimes go awry. Due to equipment failure, my flight was delayed departing Milwaukee by over an hour.....in fact we were sitting on the runway for take off when I should have been boarding my connecting flight at Midway. Needless to say I missed my connection at Midway - as we were pulling upto deplane, my connecting flight was pulling away from the gate. Got into the terminal and found that there was no way for me to get to Miami that day at all from Midway. Best they could do was to get me to Fort Lauderdale - arriving well after 11:00pm that night. So much for cuban food and mojitos. The airline provided my a voucher for food during my long wait at Midway (gee a whole $7 - bought me a carton of milk and small order of chicken mcnuggets at the Mickey D's stand........) and were willing to provide transport to me from FLL to Miami that night. I guess I really wasn't too thrilled about having to get from FLL to the airport in Miami in the middle of the night. I ended up calling one of my friends who was staying in FLL that night and I was able to snag a room at the some hotel they were at and I would ride down to Miami with them the next morning. I have always been a proponent of flying in the day before a cruise. There are times for me when it has been impossible to do so, but after this experience, I will do my utmost to arrive a day ahead of time.
Anyway on to the flight - this plane was one of the few that ATA has that has business class on it - they were selling upgrades for $40 - needless to say I grabbed one of those seats ASAP. They were wonderful - wide leather seats, adjustable headrests, footrests...........it would have been a wonderful flight if not for the drunk, sky-high woman in the seat ahead of me. I have never encountered such a problem person flying before! During takeoff, her CD's went flying into our row and she unbuckled herself and tried to crawl over the seats to retrieve them. When allowed to, she put her headphones on and started to yell along with they lyrics - have no clue who she was listening to but every other word out of her mouth was "f$#k" and "s*#t". She kept this up through the whole flight....except for the time she went into the bathroom and was in there for more than 20 minutes - came out smelling like she had smoked a couple of joints. And then there was the time she wanted some light, so instead of reaching up and turning on her reading light, she decided to use her lighter! I have never seen 10 people move in unison like the rest of us in business class did, putting on our call buttons at the same time. Needless to say when we landed in FLL, security came on board and this woman was taken off and eventually arrested.
Got to the hotel and met up with my friends - and the big surprise came. This was supposed to be a Chicks Cruise - well our friend John and his significant other decided to surprise the girls and join us on the cruise.
11/5/04 - started out sunny and warm - a beautiful day. Drove down to Miami and arrived at the port about 10:30am. Got our luggage out and parked the cars. Waited outside for the last of our group Jennifer to arrive from her Miami hotel. At this point, she is the only one who doesn't know that our friend John decided to surprise us. She gets out of the taxi and he comes up behind her and asks if she needs any help - she turns around, gapes for a minute and starts laughing and cursing him at the same time. We go inside the terminal and get into our lines for check in.....Two of the group are Diamond members so they go to their special lounge for check in and boarding. Then proceed to the line to wait to get onboard. Once that line starts moving it was not bad.............until one of the machines they use to take your picture to imbed the image on your sign and sail card started acting up. It took 10 minutes to take one picture on that machine.....the other one was churning them out. We were in two lines - on for each machine - and of course we were in line for the machine that didn't work. We tried to suggest to the crew that maybe they could alternate lines for the one machine until they got the one machine fixed......they did not seem to grasp the concept. Finally got onboard about 12:30 - much of the time spent standing in line because of the one non-working machine. They evidently could not get the machine fixed as they gave up trying to get it to work - later RCCL decided to just have everyone take their sign and sail card AND a photo id to get on and off the ship.
First impression of the Majesty was one of casual elegance. No neon....lots of brass and wood and glass. Jennifer and I went to find our room - 9552 - a superior ocean view. Very nicely laid out with a sitting area, two beds, a vanity and a mini fridge. Bathroom was small and functional.....shower had a hand held shower head that was wonderful - good water pressure and the hot water stayed hot and the cool water stayed cool. Headed up to the Windjammer - had no clue that half was open air and half was enclosed. I felt the buffet set up was confusing......I guess I am just used to the set up on Princess. The food was good - some really nice meat and pasta dishes.....breads and rolls and desserts were excellent. Pizza (didn't find this til the last full day) was very very good! I wish the location was easier to find and that the pizza was offered more than just 2 hours a day. Our group got together for sailaway....we had a wine and cheese party on a secluded small balcony just outside the On Your Toes lounge. By this time the skies had clouded up and it was raining off and on. This was to be a theme throughout the next 36 hours. Met up in the Viking Crown Lounge for pre-dinner drinks.......a really nice lounge with great service....but who's brilliant idea to put the Rock Climbing wall behind the Viking Crown Lounge? It totally disrupted the 360 view....who wants to see a gray slab over the ocean and skies? After this headed down to the Maytime Dining Room on Deck 3......we were at table 180. Our waitress was Derya from Turkey, her assistant was Alma from the Phillipines. I have been on 11 cruises and they were the best wait team I have ever had (and I've had many excellent ones!) They worked together seamlessly, water glasses were always filled, bread was constantly offered.....they kept the pace even and clued into our mood (we were there to have fun and enjoy the food) and got caught up in the spirit of our table. Derya's recommendations were spot on!
Now, I have heard a lot of grumbling on the boards about how the quality of food on RCCL in general has declined. Being this was my first RCCL cruise, I was only able to compare the food to my Princess, Carnival and Celebrity cruises. I put the quality of the food on this particular RCCL ship as being on par with Princess. Meats were tender and prepared to order. Rolls and desserts were wonderful. Soups were delicious - I really love Princess' French Onion Soup and RCCL's was just a tad better seasoned, but could have used just a little more cheese on the top. I wonder if it was just the chef on this particular ship, but the food was really very good.
Headed off to bed that night with dreams of hitting Coco Cay the next day.
11/6/04 - woke to clouds and rain.....and it stayed that way all day. The Captain did decide to stop at Coco Cay....why, I don't know since most of the day was a washout. Had a hot stone massage and a facial today........oh my goodness, that massage was heaven!!!!! Have to get one regularly here at home! Did our usual predinner drinks in the Viking Crown Lounge and then on to dinner. This was the formal night and dinner was absolutely delicious.....beef tenderloin, french onion soup, salad, rolls, etc. Can't remember the dessert but they were all delicious.
11/7/04 - sunny and gorgeous in Nassau. Being Sunday the shops were only open from 9 - 2. Three of us decided to do the Blackbeards Cay beach and snorkel break. After going to Stingray City in Grand Cayman, the sting ray part of this excursion was disappointing. The sting rays are in a fenced in area - there are only about 13 of them and they have been debarbed. The rest of the time we just relaxed on the island in the water and shade and then headed back to the docks on our tender. Arrived back at the dock, one went shopping and Pat and I headed back to the ship. They have these golf carts that will take you from the shopping area to the ship for free (just tip the driver.) Well, getting onto the back of the court, I whacked my head on the edge of the covering. Needless to say I was a little stunned....got a nice goose egg and a light bruise, but didn't break the skin and didn't suffer a concussion. Went back to the room to rest a little and start the packing process.........then went down and got a pedicure. Back to the room to get ready for the last dinner. Precruise drinks again at our favorite place and then down to dinner. We all wanted to take Derya and Alma back with us. Dinner was very good again....tears all around when we said goodby to them. Went back to the cabin, finished the packing, set the suitcase out and then headed up to the disco for a little while.
11/8/04. Debarkation day........this is where RCCL needs some improvement. We went to breakfast in the dining room at 7:00am. Sat down to a leisurely breakfast thinking there was no way the ship would be cleared before 8:00 as they were still pulling up and tying to the dock when we headed to the dining room. We made plans after breakfast to meet up on deck 4 near my friends' cabin to say goodbye....well we got out of the dining room to chaos.....a long line starting on deck four going all the way up to deck 5.....seems they started calling colors to debark while we were eating breakfast. Just a word of warning......RCCL does not make debarkation announcements in the dining room............we had early debarkation tags and totally missed it. The crew in charge of debarkation were rude....would not answer questions and were dismissive. Our group got seperated and there was no way to find each other in this mess, so we all went our own ways..........did hook up via cell phone later that morning. Once, I did get off the ship, it was going through Immigration check, down to claim your luggage and then through customs........then out to the ground transportation area. Grabbed a taxi to go to the Miami airport. $21 plus tip for the trip from the pier to airport. Checked in at Delta........and got pulled out a security for the full inspection and works. Just my day, I guess! Made it through without getting thown in jail for anything. Flights on the way home were uneventful and arrived at my house about 8:00 that night - totally exhauseted but glad I made the trip to catch up with my friends.
I really enjoyed the Majesty and RCCL - I realize it was a three day cruise but our service with the exception of one bartender, was excellent. I will be on the Enchantment of the Seas next fall after she has been stretched and refurbished....can't wait to compare the two ships. Before that it is back to Princess and the new Diamond Princess in April.
The Majesty of the Seas was truly a great disappointment. We arrived at the Port of Miami at 12noon without any hassel or problems. We checked right in without waiting in any problems. But little did we know the problems were only around the deck.
Once we boarded the ship we were expecting to rush over and book our Bahama excursion but we were told we would have to come back around 3:30 to make any arrangements for deposits and excursions. Okay, that wasn't so bad. We went up stairs to the Winjammer to have lunch only to sit down to a curbside market lunch. It was nothing to write home about. After dining we went down to the pool which was small but clean. We were expecting to sit down and enjoy the sunshine but the waiting or server only kept ruining the sunlight by his constant need to offer us a drink. We that he was a car delear the more we said no the more he continued to harasse us!
The most impressive thing on the ship was the cabin stewart Johnathan. He was on top of hisgame. From the time we went down to our room he introduced himself and promised to grant out every request and you know what he did!
The best part of this story is we were not told that we would not be going to the Bahamas until the ship pulled away from the port. This came as a big surprise not only to us but to all the passengers. The look of disappointed run through the entire ship. Everyone talked about this for days not hours but days. This was the main topic of everyones conversation. We were offer a credit on board around the 2 or 3 day on the ship and then everyone went down to the Duty Free shop and purchased as much liquor as they could carry. This was to keep them from thinking about what was happening but it didn't work they just were unhappy drunks then!
I have been on Celebrity and to say that it is owned by the same parent company would only do it harm. As wonderful as they treated me 2 years ago I would hope that have not sunk to this low class level would do it much harm. I hope in the future things will dramactically change for RCL's Majesty because if not they are going to loose plenty of their business.
Whom ever made the decisions for this voyage should be placed in a new position. Hopefully the kitchen because the only thing they should decided on the the china.......
Stranded at Sea.....
Although first time cruisers, we loved our four-night sail on the Majesty. We had realistic expectations of what we were getting due to all the reviews that we had read on-line.
Upon arrival in Fort Lauderdale, we picked up our luggage found the RCCL representative and were on a bus to the port of Miami within twenty minutes of landing. Boarding in Miami was quick and easy, as we were on-board by noon. We spent the afternoon by the pool, and sailed out of port before dinner. The first night was rough...thank God for dramamine. My husband did not feel he needed any, and soon decided that there should be bathrooms closer to the dining room!
Our day in Nassau was good. We took the Rainbow Reef snorkeling and it was a good time, although it was cloudy and the seas were slightly choppy. They also give you a "tour" while traveling to the reef. We like it - they also had refreshments on board. That evening was the formal night - with free champagne at the Captain's reception. Then a midnight buffet on the upperdeck - with dancing and a reggaeband. It was great!
We did not get to stop at Coco Cay, although we went by it. RCCL is in the process of repairing the island, so we spent the day at sea. I liked having a sea day...plenty of chairs in the sun and unlimited beverages all day!
The food was excellent! Each night we were more pleased than the night before. The Windjammer wasn't the best, but we loved the room service each morning.
We had an oceanview cabin (which I would recommend) that was OK. I had read that the ship was due to dry dock next year, so we went suprised by the stained carpet and older, worn bedspread. It was small, but met the needs of two tired parents vacationing without their kids!
All in all, we are definately taking another cruise! I can't imagine how pleased we would be on a more modern ship....
My husband and I are first-time cruisers and decided on RCL because it was one of the few cruise lines that offer in-cabin babysitting (as opposed to bringing your child to the nursery in the evening -- what's the point of that?!). Disney also offers in-cabin babysitting, but we felt it was too expensive and our son, who is 18 months old, wouldn't really appreciate the additional incentives. We also chose the 4 night cruise, just in case we hated it. And boy did we come close!!
The lines that were involved with this type of excursion were abominable and our poor son was in hysterics most of the trip. Our flight to Miami arrived at noon on Monday but we didn't get to eat lunch until nearly 2:30 and the lines at the Windjammer were atrocious. And the food there was awful -- it didn't improve at all during the trip. I ended up eating cold cereal every morning and my son would only eat some of the scrambled eggs and fruit. Our luggage didn't arrive until almost 5 and we had a 6pm dinner seating.
The dinner was better interms of food quality but it was a long, 2-hour process and even the 5-year old at our table was tired and listless near the end. The kids menu is not toddler friendly and our son spent most of the time throwing the cutlery around. While the head waiter and assistant waiter were incredibly helpful, this did nothing to speed things up or improve the fare for our son.
The day on CocoCay was lovely except there was very little kid-friendly food (ribs and chicken didn't sit well with my son). No fries or chips etc. and my son hated the mac n cheese. But note this -- all parents -- don't bring your stroller -- they have beach wheelchairs near the pier and these were excellent for our son!!!
The Key West day was a nightmare -- you can't go ashore until every single person aboard goes through customs and we didn't get to Key West until almost lunch.
Disembarking was also a nightmare. We had to wait and wait and wait and we couldn't be in our room or anywhere where my son could play.
If you use a stroller on board, you have to wait for elevators, which take forever. Also, the cabins are much too small for a toddler and two parents (three or four calm and organized adults maybe, but not a toddler)!
On the plus side? Service was wonderful -- our stateroom attendant even provided garbage bags for stinky diapers. The evening entertainment was fun and provided some of the only gratifying moments of our trip.
I'm happy to be back and relieved it's over. I will never cruise RCL again, though. And probably never cruise at all after this horrible experience.
My DW and I have cruised three times previous on the Explorer and Navigator of the Seas with Royal Caribbean the last three years. She is a teacher and as a result, is restricted to certain time frames to travel. As a result, the school vacation week was an opportunity to try one of RCL's smaller ships for a quick getaway.
Wanting a quick and somewhat inexpensive trip, I had utilized SkyAuction.com to book an outside category for this timetable. The total was just under $700 not including airfare (was able to utilize frequent flier miles to Miami). SkyAuction.com emailed documents just three weeks prior to the cruise. No real impression with this company, but saving $50 - $100 maybe not worth booking your exact cabin and documents much earlier. Also, you cannot speak with them by telephone, only by email. Otherwise, we got what we paid for.
To take advantage of flights which worked with FF mile, we ended up flying from Boston to Miami on Saturday evening arriving around 9:30 PM. We tried not checking any luggage this time with two 21" Pullmans and overnighter and backpack. This worked out extremely well,and we will always try to travel this way. It saved us a great amount of time, and we didn't mind not packing the formal clothes for a quick trip.
We arrived at the Radisson Miami and checked in to our Priceline room (331 if I remember correctly). The assistant front desk manager, Mr. Cabrera was most gracious. Our room was very adequate for the $35 (close to $50 with taxes) bid. We had stayed here three years earlier when Wyndam had the franchise, and Radisson has done a nice job of renovating this property. Taxi from the airport was less than $20. Another $5 taxi fair over to Bayside where we enjoyed a late night dinner at a small Cuban restaurant.
Our cruise was leaving on Monday, so we had a full day Sunday in Miami. We had been upgraded to a higher floor and were very fortunate to be given privileges on the club level. We enjoyed a light breakfast overlooking the port and saw the beautiful Voyager of the Seas at the dock.
We took a trip over to South Beach and had a light lunch at the News Café. Great menu and wonderful spot to people watch. The beach was a bit breezy so we headed back to the Radisson to have a nice nap by the pool. A later obligatory dinner at Bubba Gump's capped off a leisurely day in Miami.
Monday dawned sunny and we headed over to the dock early. I had checked and the ship had showed pretty well booked all week, so I knew that a pier upgrade was out of the question (I would learn later that GE had chartered out a large portion of the ship for its top producers). We arrived around 10:45 and only got comfortable in our seats when they started processing at security and checking in. At 11:30 promptly boarding began.
We headed to our cabin, 2090, ocean view, and dropped our luggage and changed into our bathing suits. Having had corner aft cabins on Explorer and an owner's suite on Navigator, this cabin was our smallest so far, BUT, all in all it was very functional! I had anticipated that it would be just too small, however, we adapted quite well, and I would do it again to afford a second cruise every year. We met our very capable room steward, Herbert, who could not have been better during our cruise. We requested a couple of robes and he readily complied. He was most efficient during the week, and we saw no evidence of a reduction in service from housekeeping, In fact, everywhere we traveled on the ship, there was tremendous cleaning going on.
This leads me to comment on the condition of the ship. The overall condition was excellent! I know it was renovated in dry dock in 2002, but there is very little wear and tear. Yes there were a few cracks here and there, but nothing that stood out.
The other major factor in comparing to the larger ships was that it felt that it handled the number of passengers very well. Outside of the lines waiting to disembark at Key West after clearing immigration, there were very few times that we waited in line.
We spent the rest of the first day lounging by the pool. The two pools were never full and being only a four day cruise with no sea days, chair saving was not a problem at all.
We looked forward to dinner. We had two very nice couples who were traveling together at our table #54. They made us feel very comfortable and included us in all conversations. They were seasoned travelers and were on their first RCCL cruise, having previously sailed with Holland, Princess and Radisson. They were quite impressed with RCCL in comparison. With GE taking most of the dining room, we saw no reduction in service, which we expected. Bogach and Royston were very good, in fact, the assistant, Royston stood out and will make a very good waiter very soon. Was surprised us was how evident the Head Waiter, Francesco was! He was with our table every night and as the senior Head Waiter, handled the announcing duties usually done by the Maitre D. He was the most visible Head Waiter we have ever encountered.
Now to the food. Our first evening, I tried the Rib Eye steak, ordered medium rare. It was very good. I would consider the overall food, very good, not excellent, but, very good. The chilled soups were excellent as usual as was the Shrimp Bisque. Back to the red meat. Two other nights, I ordered beef, filet and NY Strip. All were very good! Having read so much in the last year about the "ranch steak", I wanted to try all the red meat options and was surprisingly impressed. I eat locally at a variety of restaurants and do enjoy a local 4 star French restaurant as well as a basic diner, my tastes may not represent the majority, but for this cruiser, I was pleased with the food.
We attended the Wild West Show which was good, not great. The dancers are very talented, but the show theme was lame. The next night, they did a rock and roll show through the ages, which was much more upbeat and offered a better outlet for the talent.
Spent a half an hour in the casino and was up by $50, so retired for the evening.
Second day and first port was Nassau. Mixed sun and clouds met us as we docked. We had ordered room service breakfast. This is one of our favorite things to do on a cruise. By putting our card the night before 3 AM, you get a wake up call when you want in half hour intervals, and three to five minutes later, your breakfast arrives. Don't forget a tip to the server! We have been to Nassau a number of times before, so Atlantis was no attraction, and we have swimmed with the dolphins as well, so we just decided to take the #10 bus out to Cable Beach. We arrived at the Crystal Palace with the clouds building. As we headed out to the beach, it started to drizzle. Not wanting to wait it out, we headed back to town on the bus ($1 per person each way) to do some shopping. The straw market is very tight to walk. The vendors were not as aggressive as in the past, but we walked through very quickly do to the tight spaces. We headed back to the ship to hang by the pool after lunch.
The Windjammer was good basic food. The carved offering each day was excellent! The ham and beef were very tender and hot. If you do go to this buffet, please try the carved offering of the day. Dessert offerings were very tempting. The Key Lime Pie was good! Plenty of food, decent quality, but good overall experience with seating on two levels, inside and out. Great views with large windows.
Second night was similar to first, except we attended the art auction for the first time. We had a ball. I don't personally drink, but my DW enjoyed the champagne while we looked at some interesting art. She is an art teacher at a local school, so this was a good option for her. Had some fun and bought a few small inexpensive pieces. My son enjoys animation art, so we bought a cell of Bugs Bunny, as well as a signed print by Chen. We attended three auctions during the cruise, and received three complimentary prints which we will frame.
Leaving Nassau at midnight offered the midnight buffet on the pool deck with dancing under the stars. This was a lot of fun with line dancing and conga line. Cruise staff was all there and they were celebrating one of their birthdays. We were much to full from dinner to enjoy the buffet, but we did have fun dancing.
Spent another few minutes in the casino and won $200 on slots on $60 played, up $140 for the night, so headed out.
Wednesday we were very fortunate to tender to Coco Cay. This has not happened much lately due to higher winds. We arrived mid morning after our room service coffee and fruit and a made to order omelet in the Windjammer. The day was just lovely, with strong sun and very light warm breeze. We headed over to the back side of the island which is very quiet and sparsely populated. Most folks stayed close to the barbeque area. Anyway, the back side is much quieter, but more importantly, the colors of the water were what makes us come to the Caribbean! There were so many shades of turquoise in the water with touches of silver; it was just an incredible sight.
The water was very warm, easy to swim. I walked in knee deep water around the island and saw three sting rays, huger grouper type fish and many schools of fish including very large starfish. This backside had plenty of chairs and hammocks for all. Played a few games of volleyball with the ship's crew and some great folks from fellow Massachusetts residents. There were the typical wave runners, Water Park, kayaks, snorkeling and all water sports available. The lunch barbeque was very good. The hamburgers were surprisingly moist! I expected them to be very dried out, they were not! Be very careful to not leave food unattended, the seagulls were unrelentless! The only drawback was that it was such a lovely day; cruisers did not want to leave the beach early, so the lines for the tenders after 3:00 were huge!
Headed back to ship around 3:30 and enjoyed a little pool time before showering for the art auction. Also stopped by the Loyalty Ambassador to check out another cruise this summer on Navigator and to book again on Majesty for next April as well.
We arrived in our rooms to find the Crown and Anchor Gold status gained us two nice fanny packs with the RCCL embroidered logo. This was in addition to the coupon book which Herbert delivered the first night as well. We did use the coupon in the casino, spa and for the 2 for 1 drinks.
Speaking of the spa, my DW had an unpleasant experience when she scheduled a manicure on the first day. She made an appointment for a basic manicure. Understand, my DW is a very intelligent, kind, caring woman and hates confrontation. While she was there getting her manicure, I dropped off a coupon for 10% off. I waited for her in the Centrum while she checked out. I noticed her invoice and noticed she was charged $44 for an exotic hand treatment, not the $25 for basic manicure. Being a kind and generous woman, she also added a $15 tip. While signing the invoice, she smudged her French manicure. She was then charged an additional $10 to repair it! Not wanting to make waves, she just left. Stupidly, I brought all this to her attention and she felt terrible. Now understand, she is not a woman who spends money on herself. Who was wrong here, ME! I never should have said a word and let it go and she would have never been aware. My butting in minimized her experience and that was a shame. A word to the wise, be careful of the spa and tell them exactly what you want after you have read the spa services menu and know the pricing before you go in!
Enjoyed dinner with our companions again that night. I had ordered my DW a bottle of wine the first night, and after our tablemates declined to join her and ordered there own wine, we corked the bottle which was on the table for her each night. Our assistant waiter was great to memorize my order of cranberry juice and have it ready for me each evening. Her bottle lasted her the cruise. The wait staff did a nice version of O Solo Mio that night.
The last full day required each cruiser to present themselves to immigration in Key West. They started at 8:30 with deck two. We were there early and done by 9:00. After breakfast in the Windjammer, we headed to the pool to avoid the crust waiting to get off. A number of cruisers were late to check in and there were numerous calls over the PA for them. The benefit for us was that the pool area was virtually empty! With such a nice day, we decided to stay there for a while before we headed out to Key West. It was a peaceful time; I was amazed there were less than 50 people by the pool!
We headed to Key West around 1:00 PM. We took the Olde Town Trolley tour which we found very informative. We did the Southern Most Point photos and had a little time to shop. We though Key West was a great stop, and wished we had more time there. The only drawback was when we headed back to the ship, we had neglected to take our picture ID with us and we were detained by a very curt, unpleasant security guard. He was definitely within his rights to detain us; he just didn't need to be so rude. We waited 10 minutes before another guard escorted us to the ship to check our photos with our sea pass cards. Totally my fault for not remembering the photo ID. Remember to bring yours!
Back on ship at 5:30, quick head start on packing and ready for busy evening. We went to the final art auction and last dinner with tablemates. Happily shared tips with very efficient staff and business cards with new friends. Then we attended the Majesty Quest game which was hysterical! Try this if you haven't in the past, it really is a lot of fun and a little crazy.
Finally, attended the late night comedian show at 11:45 with Carl Strong. He was very funny, a little crude, but funny. His show is definitely not for children. Many sexual references and very; graphic. Sophomoric, but funny.
Headed back to casino to give back some earlier winnings and off to bed. Had red tags for the morning, but with carry on luggage only and a 1:00 flight back to Boston, we were in no rush in the morning.
We were out of our cabin by 8:00 AM and they had already called the first three colors. We had a very leisurely breakfast in the Windjammer and finally left the ship at 9:00. Headed directly to the airport for our flights out.
A couple of final notes: 1. Two nights in Miami before cruise was very relaxing. 2. Carry on luggage only saves a huge amount of time. 3. Met a cousin and member of my community onboard, small world. 4. Majesty is a great ship, will cruise again on her next year as well. 5. Loads of Massachusetts residents onboard. No idea why, there just were. 6. 4 night cruise is great for school vacation week. 7. Take your time heading out to Key West if you want some private pool time.
Great experience, a lot of fun, and very relaxing. Sorry we didn't do shore excursions or many other activities, we wanted to chill out this cruise, and we certainly did.
We found check in to be very easy and smooth. The ship is showing some wear, but for the most part is good shape for an older ship. We were dissappointed with several aspects of the cruise. First of all, the food is no where near cruise quality. The food we had on Carnival was wonderful, but all the food we had on the Majesty lacked flavor, was greasy, and many foods were fried. Our local buffet food was just as good. The food was not presented well at the buffet. The elevators were slow and always packed. We took the stairs most of the time due to the elevator. My husbands knee did not like this at all. We were unable to tender to Coco Cay due to wind, so we had an unexpected At Sea day.
It took the crew hours to come up with activities for the day. I'm sure out of the 809 cruises the Majesty has taken, this has happened before. We did see a wonderful comedian that afternoon. But, since he did that show the last night adult comedy show he was scheduled forwas canceled. We were really looking forward to Coco Cay and that comedy show!! We also found drink prices to be more in the evening than during the day. (same drinks). We encountered rude employees throughout the ship. We may cancel our booked fall cruise on the Enchantment due to our problems with this cruise. Old ship or not RCCL should have good food, service, and entertainment on all ships.!!!
Returned four days ago from our cruise on the Majesty of the Seas. This was my second cruise. We arrived at the Port of Miami a little after 11 a.m. We had about a 15 minute wait before we went through security and to the ticket windows to finalize the paper work. We then waited about 40 minutes to board the ship. Of the regular passengers waiting to board we were 15 & 16. We went to the Windjammer, ate lunch, then sat in the sun for awhile before we went to explore. Our luggage was delivered to our room well before the lifejacket drill so we had plenty of time to unpack before dinner. We had early seating, but had plenty of time to watch the city of Miami dim as we set sail before we ate. My niece and I were very excited to meet our tablemates. We were seated in the Maytime Dining Room at a table for 8. We were the only ones who made it to our table. We were a little disappointed, but as I started to get seasick, I was also alittle relieved. I had to make an early night of it, my niece went to the show, casino and did some more explanation. As I was laying on my bed the phone rang. It was fellowh Cruisemates - Lisa and Mark. Through this wonderful message board we had found out we were on the same ship and emailed back and forth a little. They too were feeling seasick and were head to get some meds. They offered to bring me some, but I declined,I didn't want them to go out of their way. In true Cruisemate form they did go out of their way, picked me up some meds and delivered them to my door. I was very appreciative of their kindness. I took a pill, and by morning I was feeling much, much better.
We chose the Dolphing Encounter excursion and had a wonderful time. It was a little windy and the water was a little chilly. We then explored the town and did a little shopping. Being Formal Night we wanted to make sure we had plenty of time to get ready. We were excited once agian to hopefully meet some new friends at our table. Once again we were the only ones there. We felt a little conspicuous as we were toward the front of the dining room, in the elevated section. The waitstaff were all very attentive and took extra pains to visit when they had a few minutes. One hour and 15 minutes into dinner (early seating) our tablemates showed up and stated that they need all 8 seats. Our waiter said that that was not possible as only 6 were scheduled to eat at that table, and the other 2 had other seating arrangements. They were beginning to be very rude to the waitstaff (who were not too happy with such late arrivals, when they had another seating that they would have to soon prepare for). Because we were close to being done, and that I felt uncomfortable with the way they were treating the help we chose to leave the table. Other waiters were watching and questioned us as too why we felt we had to leave the table. They felt bad that we felt we had to move and asked over and over again if they could do anything. After dinner we went to the casino and met a couple who were later that night the newlyweds in the love and marriage game - they were very nice. Even though we did not win, we had fun. We then went to the Chorus Line Lounge for the game and then the show. The show was ok, I preferred Wed. nights show though. We had an early evening.
Wed - Coco Cay. We had an early time for parasailing so we wanted to get an ealy tender over. We were on the first tender, I'm not sure if another made it to the island or not. Minutes after we got to the island they started cancelling the excursions - it was windy and the winds were getting stronger. We decided to wander around and enjoy some sun. The wind was just too strong to make it enjoyable, and within a half hour or so of landing, they began to round us all back to the tender, saying if we didn't leave soon then we would be stuck there as it was just getting too windy for a safe transport back. We did make it back to the ship safely, it was quite rough, more like an adventure. Many were on the upper decks of the ship watching our return, taking pictures and video tape. We recieved a round of applause when we rejoined the ship safely. We enjoyed our at-sea day - Bingo, Casino-Shopping-Eating-Shows. That night, as I expected we were moved to a different table and met a couple from Ohio and Rhode Island. It was nice to have people to visit with and not feeling like the waitstaff had to keep us entertained. That evening we enjoyed the show.
Thursday - Key West - we chose the Big 3 Excursion - Dolphin, Snorkling and Kayaking. Again, it was quite windy and the boat ride quite chilly. We did get to see Dolphin in the Wild and that was really neat- much like going on a whale watch. We then were anchored off Archer Island - a mangrove grove in the shallow waters of Key West. The water 2s only 72 degrees, with the wind it was just too cold for me to get into the water - I only go in my pool if it is 80 degrees, and since I already was trying to recover from a sinus infection, I decided that it would not be a good idea to go in. Our tour was divided in half (half on kayaks while the other half snorkled). The longest anyone in our group stayed in the water was less than 10 minutes, most were out in less than 5. They had brought us to a sponge bed, so the only thing to see were brown sponges,with a few small brown fish (resembling minnows) to look at. For most this was a very big disappointment as we were expecting some colorful tropical fish. By the time it was our turn to kayak it was really windy. It was quite hard for us to keep up as most in our group decided to treat this time like a race, instead of a kayak around the island, with our guide pointing out different points of interest and flora and fauna, both in the sea and the trees. It was really pretty and a neat way to see lots of different things. Only wish the wind was a little less strong, and the others in the group were a little less physically fit. This was a long tour and left us little time to enjoy Key West. I'm anxious to go back and explore the Island better. It is such a picturesque place. This was also our last night, so that might tip night in the dining room. One of the couples at our table never showed up. The table of 8 that we were originally seated at, sat empty - none of them came. People were actually walking up to the waiters and telling them they forgot thier envelopes in thier cabins. My niece overheard the waitstaff commenting to each other that it was "amnesia night". We truly enjoyed all those that waited on us in the Dining room Head Waiter, Waiter and Assistant Waiters (even some from surrounding tables, that took time to speak with us) we did automatic tipping, plus included extra in our envelopes. We had brought postcards from home to decorate our day, which we never did, so we wrote thank yous on them and put them in the envelopes. They all asked all kinds of questions about the locales on the cards. Later my niece met one of the waiters and he commented how nice it was that we did that, that after dinner the all compared postcards and showed them around to the other waiter, who then wished they had gotten one too. We went to the evening show, and then to Karaoke Idol.
When we debarked the ship, it was very fast and easy. We were in the first color group called, so there was no waiting around in public areas. Just left our room and walked off board.
All in all it was fun. You can't change the weather, so that can't really factor into a true cruise report. The cabins and showers were smaller than on Carnival Sensation. The ship had less small children so it was quieter and I think a bit cleaner. I think the food was a little better on the Senstation. The decor on the Majesty of the Seas was a little nicer. I can't really decide which one I liked better. The staff on both were excellent, though Jimmy our Cabin Steward on the Majesty was just excellent and the nicest person ever. The waitstaff on both ships were very friendly and efficient. I would feel comfortable to sail either line again, I guess I would chose by determining what ports I wanted to visit and the dates I had free and plan around those with which ever line came closest to that critiria.
Thank you to all the Cruisemates who share so much knowledge and especially to Crusimates Lisa and Mark for their kindness during the Cruise. I hope to meet more of you fellow Cruisemates on my next cruise.
Went on a cruise with my mom, my aunt, and my sister (it was the 1st cruise for sister and aunt). First time on RCCL for mom and I.
Flew into Fort Lauderdale on a Saturday afternoon and took a shuttle to our hotel, Miami Hyatt located in downtown Miami. Got it on Priceline for $52 a night. Nice room with a balcony. Took the free Metro Mover over to Bayside that night and shopped and ate at Bubba Gumps. Food pretty good but service sucked :(
Sunday we took the Metro Mover up to the Omni station where we caught a bus that took us right to Collins Ave in South Beach. We walked up Ocean Drive and down Lincoln Rd and back down Collins Ave. We ate breakfast at Tutti's cafe. Excellent food and service and very reasonable! We did alot of shopping and ate lunch at a place called Cafeteria, which had good food and was pretty reasonable.
Monday morning we took a short cab ride to the port around 11:30am. Quick to get on the ship and had lunch at the Windjammer. I was surprised at how goodMajesty's buffet was. I had cruised on Sensation last year and didn't care for the buffet (the rest of the cruise was great though!) Glad we packed our swimsuits in our carry ons because we hit the pool and had the whole thing to ourselves for quite a while! The pools on Majesty are great! They have a shallower area that is nice to just sit in. Later got our luggage and had dinner in the dining room. Food was good. Our waiter Bulent, from Turkey was great. Hit the casino later.
Tuesday we docked in the Bahamas. I was glad we had an outside cabin, even though it was just a porthole. Every other cruise I have taken I have had an inside room and I hate not knowing where I am and waking up in the morning and not knowing it is day out because it is always pitch black in the cabin! We took a cab to Atlantis for $4 per person, plus tip. Atlantis was nice--reminded me of alot of the newer casinos in Vegas. Gambled and lost in the casino :( Saw the aquarium (didn't do the Dig, though). We left Atlantis and went back to Nassau to shop. Found alot of fake designer purses. I bought a Coach for my mom and a Kate Spade for myself and my sister got herself a cute Dior purse. Went back to the ship for lunch in ther dining room. Had some excellent catfish and Creme Brulee.
I went to the Rainbow Reef Snorkeling Excursion through RCCL in the afternoon. It was a 45 minute trip out to the Reef and we shorkeled for an hour, which was plenty of time. Reef was good snorkeling but not great.
Shopped a little more and then went back to the ship to get ready for formal night for dinner. Got our pics taken all dressed up but didn't buy any as none turned out that good :) Changed and saw the show (I thik it was this night??!!) Who was good and we went to the Captain meeting and had lots o' free champagne :)
Wednesday we went to CoCo Cay. Was one of the first Tenders over to the island. It was cloudy and sprinkled just a little but then the sun came out and it was a great day. I rented the snorkle equipment and snorkled off the shore (you got a reduced rate on it if you had booked the Rainbow Reef or Bluebeard's excursions). The water didn't get clear until I swam out about 200 yeards though! Once our, I saw a barracuda, some rays, alot of fish--some real big, as well as some jellyfish! I have never seen jellyfish so I was scared! They were small and somehow I didn't get stung, not sure how that happened since they got pretty close! The lunch on the island was good--they even had veggie burgers :) Can't remember what we did tonite (maybe it was the Captain's meeting tonite instead of last night--it is all blurring together now!)
Thursday we stopped in Key West. Got off the ship and took the Conch Train tour. It was $22 a person and lasted about 90 minutes. Also went to Hemingway's old hangout, Sloppy Joe's and got some Conch Fritters (had always wanted to try them!). We shopped some and then went back on the ship and swam again before getting ready for dinner. Went to the casino again that night and played Bingo but didn't win at either. We did the group trivia too--that was fun and we almost won! The next morning Disembarkment was extrememly smooth and fast! We were off the ship by 8:30am!!! When we tried to get a cab to our rental car place in downtown Miami, the cabs would drive off when they learned we were only goping a few miles and not going all the way to the airport! Cab after cab did this and finally my mom grabbed a Police officer who was so nice and helpful. The next cab was forced to take us, although he clearly wasn't happy about it.
We rented a car and drove to the Aventura Mall on the way to Fort Lauderdale airport and shopped there for about 5 hours and had a great lunch at the CHeesecake Factory, before returning to the airport for our flight back to cold Detroit.
I would definately cruise RCCL again. Highlights were CoCo Cay, the Pool, and the buffet and the dining room. Just wish i would have gotten a chance to use the rock climbing wall but it had limited hours and never seemed to be able to fit it in. Oh well, there is always next time :) Only regret was that I didn't get to climb the rock
We sailed on the Majesty of the Seas September 20 - 25, 2004. This was my first cruising experience and I have only great things to say about Royal Caribbean. Our sailing squeezed in between two major hurricanes that tore through the Bahamas and Southern Florida, so needless to say, the entire cruise was pretty rocky! But after loading up on Dramamine, we had a blast!
The rooms on the Majesty of the Seas are very small, but how much time do you really spend in your rooms? The food in the dining rooms was fantastic, and the service was absolutely wonderful. Everyone working on the cruise was polite and had a "let me help you" attitude. From the wait staff to the maid service, we felt very fortunate to have met such wonderful people!
Make sure you visit the lounge on the top floor at night. there is a wonderful acoustic guitar player who performs up there each night. Not to mention, the drinks up there are great!
Our first stop in Nassau, Bahamas was dampened by a very rainy day! Unfortunately, we were about 30 minutes from the shipat a public beach when the downpour began! The next time I visit Nassau, I plan to buy the beach day at one of the resorts (you can purchase this on the ship) as the public beach left much to be desired!
Because of the busy hurricane season, we were unable to stop at CocoCay. This day was spent at sea. And even though the pool area is rather small, it accommodated all of the sunbathers for the day. Plenty of entertainment was around the pool as well making our "day at sea" a fun one!
Key West, Florida was our last stop. I highly recommend the catamaran and snorkeling tour. The coral reef was amazing! Watch out for jellyfish though, we saw several! Some of the friends we met on the ship took part in the pub-crawl. don't plan on making dinner if you take part of this wild event!
All in all, this was a fabulous experience. Embarkation and debarkation went very smooth. We couldn't have been happier sailing with Royal Caribbean and will hopefully be sailing with them again in the near future!
The Majesty is showing her age, but she is still elegant! This was our second sailing on the Majesty - the first time were just us, and then this time we took our daughter, son-in-law and our 4 year old Granddaughter. We knew they would especially enjoy CoCo Cay. What a disappointment it was when the cay was cancelled due to the wind. Food was good, but nothing like Carnival offers. Also, the entertainment was not that good.
The staff was very nice and accommodating! I did not hear or encounter any rudeness at all. Our head waiter, Ivan, was especially attentive to our Granddaughter with magic tricks every night at dinner. The last night of the Cruise, we had very rough seas, the roughess we have ever encountered, and this was our 19th cruise. But, all in all, it was a good vacation. Erlinda and I will be on the Mariner in Oct. We love cruising!!!