RCCL Majesty of the Seas 9.11.2k - 9.15.2k
This review is my honest opinion of the cruise I took on the above dates. I will include the good, the bad and what I think can be improved upon. I am going to try and do this on a day by day basis.
9.11.2k Board ship for departation
This went smoother than I thought. I was on the last flight to arrive in Miami. My bags were not at the door when I arrived at my room, but they did arrive later. This was a very uneventful night. I met all the folks at my table (98 in the Maytime dining room). We met our server (Rita from Hungary) and her assistant. Our head waiter was Fernando. The food was great, and yes you can eat as much or as little as you want.
We were informed by the Compass (the shipboard paper) that we would only be in Nassau from 8am until midnight. This is different from the published time of 3am. I can only figure that they decided that they needed more time to reach CoCo Cay. I did the Pirates and Dungeons tour. This takes you through three different forts and ends at the pirate museum, which if you've been on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney, you've seen this. The only problem I had here is more of a suggestion then a complaint. Most of the tours overlap. People cannot sign up for more than one. I really wanted to play golf in Nassau, but that overlapped with the tour I took. I did take a tour, on my own of Nassau, but would have liked to take an orginized one. I went to the Atlantis casino, but did not gamble due to the high table stakes. No tables under $10? What's up with that? Also this casino was empty! I could count the number of people in the casino on one hand. Maybe if they lowered the table stakes they would get more business. Since the ship is so long in port, you would think they could schedule the tours so they wouldn't overlap. I guess that's one way they get you to return. This is the night of the Captain's gala. Don't miss the cocktail party given before dinner. All drinks (alcoholic and otherwise) are free! While going into the formal dinner, you get to meet the captain and have your picture made with him. We left port right on time.
9.13.2k CoCo Cay
This is RCCL's private island. All I've got to say is WOW! It's perfect. At the last minute, I decided to go snorkling. Now, I've never been snorkling before and I am not a very good swimmer, but they make it so simple. For $29 you get a mask, flippers, snorkle, and a life vest. This vest comes in handy. You inflate it and basically float along the top of the water. If you decide to go snorkling bring along an underwater camera. They sell them, but they cost $17.95. I purchased mine for around $8 at Wal-mart. There is so much to do on this island. Every water sport imaginable is available. There is a cookout on the island, or you can return to the ship and eat there. I choose the cookout. They had ribs, chicken, hamburgers, and hotdogs. There was potato salad and other normal bar-b-q stuff. I got sunburned even though I was wearing 15spf. You are on the island from 8am until 4:30. So it's a full day of fun in the sun.
9.14.2k Key West
I liked Key West. It is a small island and easy to get around. I played golf (the most expensive shore excursion $119). You are taken, by van, to a public course. The course is flat, flat, flat. I'm used to playing in East Tennessee where a flat course is non-existant. Since you're on an island, expect a LOT of water holes. Since the ship is only in port from 10am until 5:30, I didn't get to do anything else on this stop. Again, I think they need another tour or have one available to folks since we returned around 4. The ship left on time again.
9.15.2k Return to Miami and disembarkation
The folks at RCCL really have disembarkation worked out well. On the last night of the cruise you get a colored tag (mine were gray). The color depends on your outgoing flight. You are asked to vacate your room by 8am. You then procede to an airline like carousel to pick up your bags. You then procede through customs. After that, you go to an airline checkin station and they take your bags. You won't see them again until you arrive at the destination airport. I had NO trouble with baggage. I know for a fact that some folks NEVER received their bags the whole trip. What a way to ruin a vacation. Flights went smooth and I arrived home safe.
RCCL's website and various others were used to research my trip. I will list them all at the bottom of this page. It was stated on several webpages that NO movement could be felt. This is entirely UNTRUE! You can feel movement. Not a foward motion, but more of a side to side rocking motion. I didn't get seasick, but it did bother me the first day. Arriving into Nassau, you could feel the ship slow. There was a large vibration throughout the ship as it went into port. I found that there is NO place to hide on ship were you won't get offered a drink. For a causual drinker, I found this disconcerting. The only place one could hide is their cabin, and there are even cokes in there for your use. If you drink any of these expect a charge for them even the bottle of water. I found the 24 hour coffee/juice station. It's outside of the Windjammer cafe on the 11th floor. The drinks here are free so I frequented that. At each port, on the first floor, they normally have bottle water available at a price also. Please be advised that you do NOT have to buy ANY tours. Most places you can go out on your own. Just remember to be aboard ship 30 mins before departure or it will leave without you. If you don't want to, you never have to leave the ship. There are activites aboard all day long while you're in port. For those of you with children, there are structured activites for all age group. Look for sheets of paper with that day's activities near the pursur's desk on the forth floor. While I'm on the subject, the forth floor is like the main lobby in a hotel room. The pursur's desk is exactly like a front desk. On this floor you'll also find the shore excursion desk and the internet stations.
I didn't see any real problems that would cause me never to go again. I want to send out a special thanks for a great cruise to my table mates. You know who you are. We were the party animals of the room. I'm surprised that we didn't get thrown out several times. I was VERY happy the folks sat me at that table. I had more fun being with these people than I would have otherwise. My room (2588 on B deck) was small but functional. All the rumors about towel animals are true. I had one each night on my bed. I hope all my pictures turn out, because I'm going to have them all available here. The lifevest drill is so wild. You must take the stairs. My muster station was on the 7th floor and my room was on the second, so after walking 5 floors, I was ready for a drink. The room steward (mine was Patrick) makes up your room twice a day. Once in the morning and once in the evening. This makes your life so much easier. Also, be prepared to be pampered beyond your wildest dream. The waiters/waitress/assistant waiters will do everything for you including cutting your food. Although I didn't pay as much as some people, I felt rich. The casino. No matter what you hear, don't believe it. The slot machines aren't as tight as they could be. I saw a person win $900 on a slot machine. I mostly played blackjack and craps. With craps being my game of choice (so what else is new?). I ended up winning $110.
Suggestions and other things I may have forgotten:
First, I'd like to thank Tanya from the AAAET Bearden office for setting this cruise up. I suggest you eat, as much as possible, in the main dining room. This will allow you to eat and drink as much as you want. Check all of the shore excursions to see which one you really want to go on as some conflict. Bring along an underwater camera if you want to go snorkling. The prices of all drinks aboard ship are higher than what I am used to. $1.25 for a can of coke? I really wanted to get a six pack on shore, but didn't. I also wanted to get some Bahamian money, but couldn't find any. I tried the post office and Atlantis casino. Everyone looked at me as if I was nuts. By the way, at the Atlantis, there is a bridge type structure between the two buildings. This is actually a suite and costs $25k per night. YEOW! The ship is extreemly large. I got lost twice before I figured out how to get around. The only other thing I saw that some people may not like is tipping signs. On all the tours, if you took a bus, there was a sign that said tips appreciated. Also during my Nassau tour, at each fort, the tour guide asked for a tip. After paying $20 - 30 for a tour, tips should be included.
I will have pictures up soon. I have sent off my film to be developed. I am also
including several of the pages that I used to review my cruise and get suggestions. Here
is the list of links in no particular order:
Sea Cruise Chat.com
Royal Caribbean's Web site
Candy's Internet Cruise Planner
I also used the news group rec.travel.cruises and the irc channel from the sea cruise chat page and the chat link on the cruisemate page to research my cruise. Even though I felt well prepared, I still had no idea what to expect once the cruise started. Needless to say, I was pleased with the cruise. I had a fantastic time and can't wait until I go back. Yes, everyone said I would be hooked and they were correct. I am now a cruise fan.
Thanks for taking time to read this, I know it's long, but I didn't want to leave anything out. Hopefully you'll find it usefull and soon you will be taking to the high seas. Bon Voyage!
And now Pictures click here for the index.
Comments? Questions? Please refer them to me Bob Werner Back to Bob's Page O' Stuff