Sovereign of the Seas
by Andy Fraser
February 13, 2006
Would I sail with the Sovereign again? In a heartbeat.
The ship is older and it shows, but it still remains an elegant reminder of what was once the biggest and best. Embarkation around 11:30 was straightforward and painless and by the time we had finished lunch in the Windjammer and wandered down to the cabin, our cases were beside the door. The Oceanview room was entirely adequate in all regards, but the bed was configured as a queen, so a $10 to Daniel and 10 minutes later we had individual beds, one across below the porthole and the other at right angles along the wall below the TV. This really did open the place up and worked fine for us.
We had the usual towel critters and Daniel kept the ice bucket full at all times. The bathroom amenities worked well, with no problems whatever - shower had great water pressure and consistent temperature. Next time, I would bring my own soap and shampoo.
The food was adequate to very good and in fact we preferred the Windjammer to the formal restaurants - as always, to each his (or her) own!
Nassau downtown was an unpleasant pit the day we got there. Some senior government official was being signed in and the Bay St./Parliament St. area was cordoned off which completely messed up the traffic patterns, resulting in virtual gridlock and consequent diesel fumes, which made walking around miserable. The usual forts, Queen's Staircase and Atlantis were spectacular but downtown was bad. In no was this RCI's fault of course. We took a taxi tour initially offered for $68 for two, negotiated down to $40 for two, ending at Atlantis, adding a $10 tip - we had a good time with the pleasant humourous driver.
We walked through the British Colonial Hotel (very nice) and access is available to the pool, beach and chairs/restrooms for $15 for non-residents of the hotel.
We ate at Conch Fritters just across the road - decent but slow - conch fritters and chicken strips with fries and a couple of Kaliks each came to just over $40. "De Batroom" with its two doors marked "He Terlit" and "She Terlit" are best not described in connection with a restaurant!
Walked around the Atlantis hotel, casino (tight machines) and aquarium, but turned down the $29 tour. It's beautiful but over-the-top opulent, which is fine if you like that. Another taxi back to the dock, checked out the Junkanoo floats and then lunch in Mirage.
Coco Cay was windy but pleasant and we walked all the way along the path and hunted for shells at the end of the path. Wild chickens everywhere, just like Kauai where we once lived. Back to the main area and bought a conch shell in the little Straw Market and enjoyed a couple of Coco Locos sitting on the beach, watching the parasailing and jetskis in the lagoon. The tenders were really rocking and rolling.
We didn't do any of the production shows and our favourite place was in the Viking Lounge, relaxing and looking out of the windows, looking for whales. Disembarkation was slow but we were back on the road, heading for Melbourne, FL by mid-morning on Friday.
As long as you go in with clear expectations, I don't think you'll be disappointed with the Sovereign of the Seas. Just watch out for the additional costs, mandatory tip included in drinks, photographs and frames, art auctions, bingo at $35, coupon books, gambling etcetera, as all that can double the price of the cruise.