Our group of sisters cruised on the Sovereign of the Seas December 15-19, 2002. We had a wonderful time. I had read a million negative reviews of the ship before I left so I was a little skeptical. Let me set your mind at ease by saying that our experience was very positive. In fact it would be 100% satisfaction if my mother had not been hit in the head by a fallen smoke detector during the night! Otherwise everything went perfectly. The welcome aboard buffet in the Windjammer was excellent. In fact everything that I ate in the Windjammer was excellent. I would suggest that you try the steak and chicken fajitas (they served them they day we were in Nassau).
When we finally made it to our room, it was small but bearable. The room was on Deck 2 and we did not smell any of the sewerage that people from the other reviews had reported. Our cabin steward was efficient and friendly. We had the first seating in the Kismet Dining room. We had requested a private table (there were six of us) but when we got there will were at a table with two other couples. This turned out to be wonderful! We had a great time together and they ended up having a cake brought to the table to celebrate the three generations of sisters (Grandmother and her sister, Mother and her sister, and myself and my sister). The food was outstanding and the service.. out of this world! Our Waiter was Susan and the assistant waiter was Robert. They went above and beyond the call of duty. By the second day they could anticipate our needs and give us things before we asked (for instance my great aunt never wanted the salad on the menu and I always wanted to try two of the entrees). They deserved the mandated tip and more. For me, they really made my vacation. I missed they as soon as I got home!
We did not experience any bad weather so we visited both Coco Cay and Nassau. I cannot say enough positive things about Coco Cay. There were shops as soon as you got off the tender and after that, it was just beautiful beach. I heard that the Coco Loco drink was great from most of the reviews and I have to agree. Let me stop here and say something about the drinks. Someone told me that the drinks on board the ship did not have much alcohol. I did not find that to be true. Every drink that I purchased was excellent. The only drink that I had where I did not immediately taste the liquor was my first Mango Tango (yes, I had more than one!) but I got it from one of the guys that walk around with a tray of drinks asking if you want one. He had been walking around for a while so I think it had lost some of its punch. But it was still good enough that I ordered more of them later. But back to Coco Cay, the barbeque on the beach was nice. But avoid the punch; it was not good at all. Go ahead and spend the $6 for the Coco Loco, it is worth it and they give you a lot of it. My sister and I found a nice spot to eat and then sleep right on the beach. Now Nassau was not as relaxing.. we did not actually spend any time on the beach. We spent time fussing with taxi drivers and we spent time being told that we could not see parts of Atlantis because we were not guests of the hotel. We also spent time being yelled at by merchants in the straw market. Nassau is a great place to pick up souvenirs, and I was able to buy liquor and bring it back to my room on the ship. (Do not let the shop pack you liquor in those big yellow boxes! That is how the cruise personnel find it!). If I ever visited Nassau again I would definitely skip Paradise Island. I do not really enjoy structured tours so I would rather save the cab fare and walk around Nassau look in the little shops. But that is just me, all the other sisters really liked the aquarium.
Entertainment on the ship was nice. I was very fond of the Broadway shows with the singers and dancers. They did an excellent job. On the last day there was this performer/impersonator; I did not enjoy his performance at all. The older crowd seemed to enjoy it so I guess it depends on your age. I loved the Music Man Lounge. The DJ was great and he kept a crowd dancing when I was there. I would say if you are 18-25 that is a spot you cannot miss. The Rainbow lounge is very nice also. They played a game called the Quest. It was very funny, so was the karaoke, which was also held in this lounge. Do not miss the Not So Newlywed game. It was hilarious. This ship has things for everyone to do, plus they had the Chocolate Delight at midnight.. (Just for the record I gained 10 pounds on this trip. Diet before you go) then a midnight Caribbean buffet. The party poolside on that night was awesome! I have not had so much fun in years!
I can truly understand why some people have been on this ship more than once. We caught a great deal at $199 a person and we agreed that we are doing the Sister Sister cruise again next year. We cannot beat the price, so hopefully we will spend some time with Susan and Robert again next year!