This was our second trip aboard the Norwegian Majesty from Boston to Bermuda. The Majesty is a wonderful, older ship -- perfect for those who prefer small and intimate over the larger mega-ships. We had just as wonderful a time aboard the Majesty this trip as we did our first time. This trip we brought along our 12-year-old daughter. She had a great time too!
This time we were Latitudes members, so we were able to check-in at the Latitudes desk. This was so easy. We arrived at the Black Falcon cruise terminal at 11:15 a.m. The longshoremen took our luggage and that was the last we saw of it until 6:00 that evening. There were no lines at the Latitudes desk. We brought our cruise documents, handed them to the receptionist, and she took photographs for our ship embarkation cards, which also serve as your room key and shipboard charge cards. It's so much more convenient than the paper cards for shipboard charges and separate room keys like we had last time. We were aboard the Majesty by 11:45.
We had cabin 838 -- an outside superior cabin, category CC. It was listed as a partially obstructed view in the brochure but there were no obstructions in our window. The cabin was much bigger than the II superior inside stateroom on our last majesty cruise. The cabin had a refrigerator. There was plenty of closet and drawer space. A big plus was the storage space in front of the window – a great place to put books, cameras, souvenirs, etc. The cabin had two beds that could be pushed together and a pull-down bunk. The bathroom is the same size as in all the other cabins: very small!
The dining in the Seven Seas and Four Seasons dining rooms was good. The menus were exactly the same as on our cruise two years ago. The buffet items were okay this time around. The foods were heavy and rich. The buffet dining was much better the last time around. We did not eat in the Pasta Café or Le Bistro so I cannot comment on them. I did hear good comments regarding the Pasta Café. There is also a 24-hour grill at the back of Deck 10, Piazza San Marco. Here you could have a salad, pizza, hot dog, hamburger or their special grilled item of the day. The pizza was very good – a great spot for late-night snacks. The Chocoholic Buffet was delicious as always. How bad can a buffet devoted totally to chocolate be? The coffee was much better this trip than last time -- not so strong!
Caribbean Wave was the calypso band that played by the pool during the day and the first night deck party in Bermuda. They really get you in the cruising mood. It was so nice to sit up on the sun deck (11) and listen to them while you relaxed. Amadeus played in the Fireworks Lounge and for the Dancing Under the Stars and 50's and 60's nighttime deck parties. Rudi Magguci and Ted Holum were great acts in the comedy fields. Rudi did some acrobatics with his act. His wife even joins him one night. Ted was just too funny. He did a few shows (one was for age 18+ only). The dance shows were better than the few we saw on our last trip. The Piano Bar was a relaxing place to go after dinner or later in the evening. There was also the Frame 52 disco (don't miss 70's night) and karaoke in the Royal Observatory lounge (some pretty good singers this trip).
Our daughter is 12. We registered her in Kid's Crew for 10-12 year olds. I really wasn't impressed with the kids program. The 10-12 year olds were grouped with the 6-9 year olds. The older kids were bored most of the time. Luckily our daughter made friends the first day so they hung around together most of the time. There were a few things she enjoyed, like the pizza-making party, karaoke for kids, pajama party and show nights (the staff would take the kids to the dance shows). Most of the time she would just hang around the pool with her friends.
The trip to Bermuda was great. The ocean was fairly calm. We had no rough seas on either end of the trip, which made the trip much more enjoyable for me as I tend to get seasick. Caribbean Wave played the pool deck every day. The service was great -- you never had to leave your chair if you didn't want to. Servers walked around with fruit kabobs every afternoon if you wanted a snack.
Bermuda was just as wonderful as the last time. This trip we stuck around the St. Georges area instead of traveling around the island. The sunsets each night at sea are breathtaking. My husband even woke me up at 4:00 a.m. one morning to watch the moon set over the sea. If you have never seen this before, wake up and do it. On the trip home, my husband and another passenger spotted a whale. I made many donations to the Casino. I won some money on the way to Bermuda but ended up returning it to the slot machines on the way back!
Day One in Bermuda, Tuesday: We arrived in Bermuda around noon. The Town Crier greeted us as we went through the cut into St. Georges harbor. Immediately, we went to Ft. St. Catherine's beach. The beach was beautiful. The snorkeling was great if you headed towards Gates Fort. Here is a warning: Go there if you are only going to spend an hour or two at the beach. The bathroom and concession facilities were disgusting. The toilets didn't flush (yet people were still using them) and there was no running water. Renting an umbrella is a rip-off, $15. Bring a cheap beach umbrella from home if you can. The three of us took a cab here, $5 for the ride. We checked the prices of food at the concession stand, and they were way overpriced, even for Bermuda prices. At night there is a street fair in St. George's Square with local crafts and paintings for sale. There is also entertainment. We went there for a little while before heading back to the ship for the Caribbean Night deck party. This is a fun night -- especially when they crown Miss Norwegian Majesty (something not to be missed).
Day Two in Bermuda, Wednesday: We went to Tobacco Bay to do some snorkeling. The snorkeling here is really great, especially if you go past the small bay area, out past the rocks. For more adventure, go around the back of the large rock. The underwater life here is so beautiful -- lots of coral, anemones and the like. The fish are also plentiful. We saw several large "Dory" fish (for those who know Finding Nemo). My husband and daughter brought pancakes from the ship to feed the fish, so they were swarming around them. This was our daughter's first time snorkeling, and she fell in love with it. The facilities at Tobacco Bay are very clean and they have running water! The concession stand here is very reasonable and clean. Our daughter even had her hair braided here. The cost was $25 for half the head. The prices for braiding were basically the same no matter where you looked to have it done. We spent the entire day here. The weather was cloudy, but who cares? It wasn't raining! You can rent beach umbrellas for $5 here. Cab fare was $5. Tonight was Dancing Under the Stars night with Amadeus playing all your favorite dance tunes -- a very enjoyable evening. Don't get caught doing the electric slide with a blindfold on!
Day Three in Bermuda, Thursday: Today we went shopping around St. Georges. Our plan was to beat the Friday morning crowd. After shopping, we went to Temptations for an ice cream (it is so good!) After a quick rain shower at lunchtime, we took the Turtle Bay Catamaran tour offered by the ship's shore excursion desk. I would highly recommend this. The catamaran leaves at the dock right in front of the ship. It is a 60 ft. catamaran with sails. We were taken to Turtle Bay beach, over by the abandoned NASA facility, by motor. We even got to see one of the local residents, Diego the sea turtle. The catamaran lets you off in about six feet of water. The entire beach is empty except for us. You are allowed to swim, jump off the catamaran, take a walk or just relax. The snorkeling here isn't very good. On the way home they serve soda, water or rum swizzles (yum). On the way home, the captain hoisted the sails and cut the engines. It was such a relaxing ride home by sail! Tonight was 50's and 60's night with music by Amadeus for the deck party. It almost didn't happen because it started to rain very heavily about an hour before, but cleared up in time for the party.
Day Four in Bermuda, Friday: Today we got up early and headed to Tobacco Bay for some final snorkeling before we left. The weather was beautiful today. The water was cloudy from the rainstorm the previous evening so the snorkeling wasn't very good. We had fun anyway. Then it was back to the ship for our sail away party. How depressing to have to leave such a beautiful island. The afternoon was spent lounging in the sun and listening to Caribbean Wave -- another relaxing time.
Once again, disembarkation was a piece of cake. We were on Deck 8 so we were the second group to be called off. We got off the ship, picked up our luggage and went through customs in a matter of 15 minutes. We were back home by 10:30 that morning (boo-hoo).
The only complaints about the trip would be the lack of good food on the buffets, and the fact that movies on our cabin TV would be cut off at different times during the movie. Sometimes near the beginning, sometimes near the end. You had to watch the movie three or four times to see the entire thing.
The ship was clean. The maintenance staff was always cleaning, painting, sanding or varnishing some part of the ship. There are alcohol hand washes by each buffet line and at the entrance of each restaurant. There are more people who don't use them than there are people that do. The service staff was very friendly. Our room steward was great too.
We heard rumors that Majesty will be going to Orient Cruise Lines (an NCL affiliate) in 2007. That is too bad. Hopefully NCL will find another ship that will be able to make it through the cut into St. Georges harbor. We will probably try to sail the Majesty one more time before she leaves. Bermuda is such a lovely place. The people are so friendly, the island so clean and beautiful. If you haven't been there before on the Majesty, do it!