CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Norwegian Cruise Line Norwegian Majesty Western Caribbean March 20, 2004

* Embarkation

The Port of Charleston did a fantastic job managing arrivals. At 12:00pm we pulled up to the gate, where they checked our documentation. Then we were directed to the area to pay for parking, then to a staging area to unload our luggage, then to a secure, covered parking garage, where a shuttle was waiting to take us to the terminal. By 12:30pm, we were onboard. Very, very smooth.

* Cabin

The standard 108 sq. ft. cabin is, in a word, too small. OK so that was two words. My wife and I never had enough room to fully unpack, and spent the whole week juggling clothes from one suitcase to another. I highly recommend that if you sail this ship, spring for the "superior" cabins, which are ~150 sq. ft. Having said that, the cabin was clean and well appointed, and our room steward was exceptional.

* Public Areas

The ship is not large, but it is clean and tastefully decorated. Public areas consist of Deck 5, half of Deck 6, Deck 8 Forward, and the Pool & Sun Decks. With a full ship, the Pool & Sun Decks were always crowded when the weather was nice, and Decks 5 & 6 were always crowded when it wasn't. This ship would be much more comfortable with about 50 fewer cabins.

The gym is too small. There are three bikes, two treadmills, and seven weight machines. Of those, one bike, one treadmill, and one weight machine were broken. There were no basketball courts, ping-pong tables, or anything else to keep active people occupied. I'd say this is an old-school cruise ship but heck, there wasn't even shuffleboard. ;^)

The Promenade Deck circles the entire ship. We loved getting up in the morning and walking for miles, all while taking in deep breaths. Fresh sea air in, stressful work air out. Fresh sea air in, stressful work air out. Repeat as necessary.

The internet café is tucked along the starboard side of the ship, and is a cozy place to check your email. "From: Housesitter | Subject: Your house is burning!". Oh well . it's insured. The Library is next to the internet café, and is also a nice cozy spot to duck into for a good book or a game of backgammon. Deck 5 also has two long hallways, one on each side of the ship, with sitting nooks and large panoramic windows. Both places are great spots to read/people watch/drink.

* Dining Rooms

Seven Seas & Four Seasons are the two main dining rooms. Seven Seas is aft on Deck 5, and suffers from TERRIBLE vibration while under way. The vibration is so bad that we never would have gone back after the first time - except that it's the only place to get breakfast and lunch if you don't want to eat in the buffet. Four Seasons is a much nicer place to dine, as it suffers no vibration and has a nice view out the port side. Food in the main dining room was good but not great. Le Bistro is also located mid-ship, overlooking the port side hallway on Deck 5. While many have panned this location, we enjoyed it. It captured the sidewalk-café feel of a French bistro. The food here was a cut above the main dining room, and it was prepared to order. The chocolate fondue is almost worth the price of admission alone - fresh fruit served in a carved out pineapple shell along with a pot of melted chocolate. Hint: ask for two servings of fruit as there's plenty of chocolate in the pot. ;) The Pasta Café is forward on Deck 9, and offers some tasty pasta dishes. It is a viable alternative to the main dining rooms if you want a change of pace. The buffet on the Pool Deck was like most cruise ship buffets - long on quantity, short on quality. Piazza San Marco, aft on the Pool Deck, served one kind of grilled meat per day and various kinds of pizza. Quality here is about the same as the buffet - pass unless you are hungry during off-hours.

* Pools & Hot Tubs

I wish I could comment on the pools and the hot tubs, but the pools were either too cold or closed, and the hot tubs were perpetually full.

* Disembarkation

NCL has a winner with their express debarkation. We brought our own luggage off the ship, and were on the road by 7:30am.

* Overall

This was a good, basic cruise, and the Majesty is a good, basic ship. Having said that, I don't think my wife and I will take it again. The ship was clean and the crew nice, but there simply weren't enough activities to keep my wife and I occupied. I guess we prefer larger ships. On a scale of one to five, I rate the Majesty a 3.5.

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