Royal Caribbean International - Cruisemates Reader's Cruise Reviews
CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines

Sovereign of the Seas
by Buttercup3381
Bahamas
April 17, 2006

Review based on 29y/o single female traveling on a family reunion cruise, sharing a room with my 25y/o brother. Arrived into Orlando two days before the cruise and stayed with a friend in Cocoa Beach.

CRUISE DAY:
We arrived at the port around 12pm. Very organized port. You go to the baggage drop off, they take your luggage and put them into crates which are later loaded on board when full. If you have a rental car, they advise only the driver to park the car and meet the rest of your party inside. We had filled out the forms online, along with the Bahamas Immigration card that comes with your documents, and we were at the check-in counter within ten minutes! Got our Seapass cards and boarded the ship about 20 minutes after arriving to port! Rooms were not ready yet so we walked around and checked out all the new changes from the refurbishment! Loved Boleros! Had a few too many Mojitos! Andee and Anthony were awesome bartenders at Boleros!!! Tell him Heather and Nick from Buffalo sent you! Went to the pool bar, had a Mango Tango, and then inside to the Windjammer for lunch! By this time, 115pm, our room was ready and we went to check that out. Had an outside stateroom room 4550. Loved the room! Beds were in an L shape which opened up a lot of space, definitely recommend this! Still wish the shower was a bit bigger or had curved shower rods, as that showering in a broom closet feel is still present! lol Went to the Schrooner bar for the next drink, and then back to the cabin to get our life vests for the muster drill. Found our suitcases there!!! Record time!!! Grabbed some champagne, left by my fellow travel agent because of the group we had onboard w/ us, about 40 people. Unpacked after the muster drill and then went upstairs to watch the departure. Unfortunately, an elderly woman had earlier fallen on the gangway and hit her head during boarding, thought she was ok, but upon leaving Port Canaveral on the ship, she was getting worse and the ship had to turn around and come back into Port. We had to Sail Away twice!!! BONUS!!! MORE MOJITOS!

DINING:
The dining room menu was much better than last time. They offered about 5 starters/appetizers including their soups, either house, caesar or exotic salad, about 4 main dishes plus the chef's signature dish of the day, and if you don't like those, there are alternative selections available which don't normally change from day to day but offer something for everyone. Desserts also served, between 3-4 selections to choose from.

The Windjammer's new stations were great! Less crowded and the food was much better! Breakfast there was mostly the same each day but they do have made to order omelets now which are better than the scrambled eggs! Lots of pastries, breads, fresh fruit, etc to choose from.

We ate at Johnny Rockets because of our free coupons from the Crown and Anchor club. They bring a plate of fries and onion rings to the table when you sit down. Cola, floats, and milkshakes are all extras, not included in the admission price of $3.95. They have more than just burgers too! They had turkey burgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, and my favorite, veggie burger! Along with the fries and rings that came out when we sat down, we had them make cheese fries for us! You also get dessert there and we choose the oreo sundae! We also got the chance to see them dance! It was fun!

Also ate at Sorrento's Pizza as part of the munchies you get when you drink too much. Best tasting pizza I have ever had on vacation! They offered the same kinds each day but there were 5 different varieties and always available! DON'T ORDER THE ROOM SERVICE PIZZA! It does NOT come from Sorrento's! It resembles frozen pizza!

Did not have a chance to eat at the BBQ on CocoCay. Missed the Chocolate Buffet again!!!! :( Had the BBQ lunch served on the pool deck on our day at sea and it was alright, but we did get there about an hour after they started so it may have been almost cleanup time and the food wasn't as fresh as I would have wanted it to be.

SHORE TRIPS:
CocoCay - did the Waverunner experience for the 2nd time! HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS!! Note, this is a tour, not a free for all! They take you to specific sites in the Berry Islands but you do not get off of the jet ski, you stay on it the entire time, unless of course you fall off. $89.00 for a driver 16y/o or older with a valid drivers license, no learner permits. $29.00 for a passenger that wants to hold on, and I apologize but I forgot the age limit on this one. Parasailing was cancelled due to rough seas. If you want peace and quiet but still want to swim, walk to the left of the island past the wave runner hut and keep going to the right along the beach. The water is shallow, there are some stingrays and a heck of a lot of quiet!! There was nobody on this side and plenty of beach chairs to use! Bonus - they faced the sun for all you tanners out there! The inflatable slide was in this area but not directly on the beach or in the water, it's on the sand but looked like a lot of fun! If you plan on going to Cococay, getting off the ship is a hassle! We ate breakfast and went downstairs around 11am and the line was from the 1st floor all the way to the 4th floor up the stairs!! It was ridiculous!!! Plus, coming back, the line to get on the tenders wrapped around almost to the lighthouse! "Long line, sippy sippy time" COCO LOCO! Actually, we waited in line for probably about 45 minutes but we did get to see an iguana, native to the island just hanging out along the rocks! Pretty cool!

NASSAU
Did not book any excursions, just wanted to walk around and see the island on our own. Went to the Straw Market knowing exactly what I wanted to buy and agreed to go down only one aisle! Spent 20.00 for about 5 different dolphin items for a friend at work, and 20.00 on a purse for myself. MUCH BETTER experience there this time! Left the market and shopped along the street. Bought some Bahamas Rum, and a six pack of Tortuga Rum cakes! YUMMY!!! Brother bought 3 pack of cuban cigars! He looked like Humphrey Bogart smoking them! It was funny! Walked up to Bay street and window shopped. Then caught a cab to Atlantis. $4.00/person plus $1.00 for the bridge. You only pay the bridge toll once though. Got some great pictures! Hung out with Anson at Atlas Bar! Great drinks, cool calm atmosphere. Expensive though! If you plan on eating at Atlantis, just to give you an idea, the sandwiches at Atlas were $16.95!! I did hear from other people though that Murray's Deli is cheaper. Did some gambling and won $100.00. Went back to the ship, ate at JR, changed and went back to Atlantis at night around 730pm. Lost the $100.00 gambling! lol Nice pictures at night!! Here's the fun part! Wanted to show the family the aquarium so we had the taxi drop us off at the Royal Towers. Went inside and downstairs where they were serving dinner because part of the aqarium is there for viewing w/o paying. Looked to the right and one of the tunnels for the Dig tour was open and no security was standing there, no ropes, nothing. We walked all the way through to the gift shop and then outside to the pool area. Nobody said anything and they thought we were hotel guests in the pool area. There was a private wedding going on though so there was limited viewing. Went back inside under the bridge connecting two of the towers and inside there was a guard but again, did not say anything to us. Less guarded at night, knowing the cruise ships leave around 5pm, but RCCL was there until 12am.

ONBOARD ACTIVITIES:
1st night went to Voltage Lounge for the 70's disco party! What a blast! Elvis was teaching everyone dance moves! Boleros did salsa dance lessons which my mom participated in until the Mojitos got to her and she fell and hit her head on the stage! lol She's fine!!!! Boleros also had a jazz band, karaoke, and dueling pianos. Dueling pianos was a great time, although, definitely not for children. Did not get a chance to do Quest which i wanted to do :( My brother did karaoke though. They had a teen dancing under the stars prior to the sail away dance at nassau, but the teens were really annoying and obnoxious!

The curfews should be earlier, 1am was the 17-under curfew, or at least confine them to Fuel, their dance club. Too many wandering the ship and pool decks at night disturbing people who wanted peace and quiet but what are you going to do? Didn't have a chance to do the rock climbing wall or play basketball, too many teens.

DISEMBARKATION:
We carried our luggage off because we had different color tags than the rest of our party. It's very stressful because everyone crowds Deck 4 even though you're not supposed to. They need to reinforce this before someone gets trampled on! Fortunately, we only stood in line for about an hour as they started getting people off the ship at 730am. We were off by 845am and through customs by 900am.

OVERALL:
When's the next cruise leave!? I want to go back again! Due to our cruise leaving the day after Easter, there were a ton of kids and families onboard but the nice thing about Royal Caribbean is that they offer something for everyone. The food lived up to my expectations and if I left the dining room hungry, then I went to get pizza or something else later on. We had some issues with the toilet not flushing but it's an art of placement there, if you've been on a cruise you know what i mean. We made the best of it, and didn't let it ruin our vacation. Yes, the lines to get on and off the ship can be long, but that's part of taking a vacation with 2,000 people!

I'll definitely be going back next spring as well as some of our family members who just took their first cruise with us. Any other questions, don't hesitate to ask, butter_cup3381@yahoo.com