The combination of a great rate and the ability to use some airline miles found us winging our way to Miami on Memorial Day for a four day cruise on the Majesty of the Seas. We had been on this ship for a seven day cruise in 1993 and were anxious to see how Royal Caribbean has treated one of its older ships. We were delighted to find that the ship is in excellent condition, and we thoroughly enjoyed our short trip.
Our flight to Miami arrived about 11:30 and by the time we collected our luggage and got a cab to the pier, it was about 12:30. We handed our luggage to the porters and went in the terminal to check in. Platinum and Diamond Crown & Anchor members are directed to a special area to check in and it took only minutes. The lines in the general boarding area were also short even though we were advised that the ship was sailing full. The entire process moved very quickly and was handled very efficiently.
Our cabin was a Category "F" outside cabin on the eighth deck (Cabin 8092). These cabins have views obstructed by the lifeboats, but we had a partial view between two of the boats. The cabins and bathrooms are quite small, but they are adequate for a short cruise. When the beds are configured as a king size bed, be sure that the most agile person sleeps by the window because he or she will have to crawl over the other person to get out of bed. The first few days of the cruise there was a problem with the color of the water on the ship, and it was light yellow. However, the water was safe to drink, and by the end of the cruise the problem had been corrected. It was just a little unsettling to brush your teeth with yellow water.
The public areas of the ship were all in good condition. However, what was cutting-edge back in 1993 seems to be a little dated in 2003. Carpeting appeared to be fairly new and was generally in darker colors. I thought that the Centrum appeared a little dark, but this may have been because of the dark carpeting and lighting. The Schooner Bar was very popular and provided a good spot to watch people come and go. The main walkway to the theatre runs through the Schooner Bar and the smoking area of the bar is along the windows next to the walkway. This area of the bar was always very smoky. However, the waiters did a very good job of keeping smokers out of the non-smoking area of the bar.
The Windjammer buffet near the pools had both indoor and outdoor serving lines and seating areas. There was also an upper level seating area in both the indoor and outdoor sections. Although the tables in the lower levels were generally crowded at meal times, tables in the upper levels were most always available. Informal dinner service was available nightly in the indoor section of the Windjammer.
Activities that you would find on a seven-day cruise were all available on this short cruise - bingo, art auctions, movies, etc. Formal night was on Tuesday while the ship was in Nassau. There was also a big deck party that evening as the ship left at midnight.
Food at dinner in the dining room varied from very good to just OK. We enjoyed our tablemates very much and our servers made every effort to please us. Extra appetizers and entrees were always brought with a smile to those who requested them, and the food was always the right temperature. Desserts were not really memorable or especially good except for the Grand Marnier soufflé. I could have eaten several of those. Our headwaiter, Jacob, was quite visible and made an effort to come to our table each evening. Royal Caribbean does not have wine stewards on this ship, so ordering a wine or a drink at dinner was somewhat confusing. The bar waiters brought mixed drinks and the assistant waiter brought wine. At the end of the meal everyone seemed to be asking for your charge card.
We ate most breakfasts and all lunches in the Windjammer. Breakfast food was the standard fare, and I saw them making omelets at least one morning. At lunch, the salads were quite good and they were carving beef, turkey, and ham on alternate days. We always took a slice of meat and made a sandwich with some of the delicious bread or rolls. Leftover desserts from the previous evening were available along with some very good cookies. I was a little disappointed that you could not get a hamburger or hot dog at lunch in the Windjammer. They did not cook these items until snack time in the late afternoon. By that time, I was not in the mood for a hamburger. Pizza was also available in the Windjammer in late afternoon, and it was pretty good. Finally, we had room service one morning for breakfast. It was delivered right on time and you were called before they came to your room.
The four-day cruise visits Nassau, Coco Cay, and Key West. We took the ferry to Paradise Island in Nassau and visited Atlantis. It is a beautiful place and the aquariums are really impressive. I'm not sure I would pay $ 25.00 again to visit the place, but it was worth one trip.
Coco Cay was very impressive. We have not been there for quite a few years, and it is my understanding that they just made about $ 10 million in improvements. All of the structures looked either new or extensively renovated. They are all painted bright colors and look very tropical. The buffet area now consists of a number of food stations for salads, hot entrees, desserts, and drinks. This type of arrangement really alleviates the long food lines. There is a new area known as the Coca-Cola water park. It consists of inflatable climbing "mountains", a trampoline, and some other inflatable things. I think that it costs around $ 15.00 to $ 20.00 to use the park and they charge by the hour. It was not widely used and I only saw three or four kids in there all day. There are literally thousands of lounge chairs spread along the shore and you could always find one either in the sun or under some trees. It was not even too hard to find a hammock. Coco Cay provides a great beach day!
Our last stop on Thursday was in Key West. The ship arrived about 7:45 AM and everyone had to go through immigration since this was our first port back in the US. Everyone is given a time to report to immigration and the entire process went very smoothly. Only a few people had to be paged and the ship was cleared around 9:30 AM. We took the Conch train and saw areas of Key West that we had not seen before. However, I would not really do it again. The weather in Key West did not cooperate, and it was very rainy and windy during the afternoon.
We arrived back in Miami about 6:00 AM on Friday. The ship was cleared by 7:00 AM and they began calling colors for people to go ashore. Platinum and Diamond members can get white early disembarkation tags and get off the ship as soon as it is cleared. We decided that we did not want to get off quite that early since our flight was at 12:30 PM, so we got red tags. Even with red tags we were called off the ship about 7:30 AM. There were no throngs of people in the halls or the Centrum and disembarkation was easier than on any other ship we have been on. We got our luggage, went through customs, got a cab, and were at the airport shortly after 8:00 AM. Fortunately, we were able to get on an earlier flight and we were home in Kentucky before 2:00 PM.
The Majesty of the Seas is a great ship for a short cruise. The ship is in great shape, the food is plentiful and generally good, and the crew is very friendly. It was a great way to spend a few days at sea.