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

Sovereign of the Seas
by Cassandra Castaldo
Bahamas
July 20, 2007

We started our cruise after a pre-cruise stay at the Radisson which was perfect with no issues. My review for the Radisson will be posted over at Tripadvisor.com. This was our second cruise on Royal, our first being on Serenade of the Seas. But this was our first 3-day cruise.

We arrived at Port Canaveral about 11am after dropping our rental car off at Avis. There were no waits, maybe 5 people in front of us. We did our pre-boarding paperwork and sat down to wait as they didn't allow anyone to start boarding until 11:30am.

We got through the Welcome Aboard pictures and security and were on the ship. They already had drinks waiting for you to purchase while others stood on another line for the soda cards. We walked around the ship at bit as we were waiting for another couple that was going with us.

They did a nice job with the refurbishment, everything was clean and shiny, rugs in good condition, no wear. There was an outside walking around the decks, the structure was obviously of the older design of the days, but it was well painted and kept up.

After I went back down into the terminal and found our friends, we went to the Windjammer for lunch. Taking note of someone's suggestion on the message board, we walked past the front section of the Windjammer which was already jammed with people and ate at the back which had another buffet (think of two Windjammers back to back). Tables were all open so we had no problems getting a seat. Buffet was good, the carving station was Roast Beef along with the au jus gravy and just lots of food to choose from. Salmon and Seafood lovers will like this cruise! Lemonade was delicious and you could get other juices, water, etc.

After lunch, we went down to our room. Our room was 6094 which was right by the elevators. We had one couple on one side of us, our friends on the other and nobody across from us as that was the closet for the cleaning crew. So it was very quiet.

The room was the same design as our room aboard Serenade with a window view. The only difference was the bed facing towards the bow where on Serenade it faced the doorway. The shower was fine, but an older style in design with only a curtain and about a 1 inch lip to keep the water in and there was a drain on the bathroom side by the lip so if water spilled over, it didn't go all over the place. The floor was slightly tilted downwards to drive the water in that direction. Smart move.

Shower pressure was fine, good and strong. We didn't have hot, hot water, maybe slightly warmer than lukewarm, but considering we were in the tropics, it was fine. No problems with lights or air conditioning.

I had requested the room to be decorated for my BF's b-day which they did on Saturday and a cake delivered to our room on Saturday night. Both worked fine and it was a surprise!

We were on the deck as the ship left, thunderstorms in the distance, but we had no rocky seas. People waved to us from Fishlips and Grills.

Friday night was casual dinner in the dining room. Mario was our waiter, table 133. He was wonderful and very friendly. The rest of the waitstaff serving us was great also! We had no problems. Meals were delicious with different kinds to chose from. Seafood lovers will enjoy this! They had also steak, chicken and a few others if you didn't like seafood.

After dinner, we went to...of course! The Casino! The casino was big, bigger than on Serenade that's for sure! Lot of slot machines, tables and they also have that quarter game that you push in a quarter and it lands on the deck with a bar that slides across and you try to push out more quarters. You see them all the time at amusement parks. All the bills were $20 inside along with a ton of quarters. Unfortunately, over time, it was topheavy, so it was hard for quarters to push forwards to knock a good chunk down.

The casino is tight on the machines, but I managed to win about $450 over the 3 days. There was alot of vibration in the casino from the ship moving or maybe was the engines. Could not tell. But you could feel the vibrations alot. One machine I was sitting at the glass top was just banging away.

Saturday was Nassau, Bahamas. After breakfast in the Windjammer (again, great selection, good food!), we went on deck and watched the guys below us get ready with the ropes to tie us down. We were outside maybe 30 minutes & already had a slight sunburn. We went downtown, lots of quiet offers for drugs, few offers for hair braiding, but we just said no thanks & moved on. They leave you alone. We didn't do much in the Straw Market, nothing of interest unless you like cachi stuff. We did buy some jewerely, but surprisingly, there was barely an Australian Opals down there were as in the rest of the Caribbean, they run rampant.

After downtown, we went to the Atlantis, played around in the casino & checked out the expensive shops (think Beverly Hills shops) & then left to go back to the ship. We didn't get a chance to check out the rest of the Atlantis. Maybe our next cruise.

We were docked with two Carnival ships, Sensation and Fascination. We had a thunderstorm blow in just before we left, but again, smooth seas. We walked around the ship and waited for the midnight buffet which unfortunately due to the storm, was held in the Windjammer. Bad idea, total madhouse! Everyone was tripping over everyone. We just nibbled on some chicken wings & went to bed. We ate very lightly.

Next morning was CocoCay. Warning - bring $$$ with you! The shops on the island accept $$ only. Had I read the Compass, I would have known. They had some nice stuff though.

Once on the island, we got some beach chairs under the shade as I didn't want to get burned. We walked around the island and enjoyed the nice clear water & saw some fish. I never made it over to the sunken plane or the ship as I planned.

The island BBQ was good, lots to chose from, but I wasn't hungry, so we ate back on the ship. Suggestion - if you have plans on buying anything at the shops NOW is the time while everyone is on the island. The ship was a ghost town when we went back about 2pm. Once everyone came onboard, everyone scrambled to the shops to buy so it was very busy and long lines in the alcohol shop. (My BF bought 2 bottles of scotch which he forgot you can't bring on the plane & security took it from him at the airport. Oops!!)

We ate the last night at the Windjammer which was casual & said goodbye to everyone. Luggage had to be outside your door from 8pm to midnight. We got up the next morning, had our last breakfast at the Windjammer & then had to wait until 9:30am to leave because we were spending the rest of the week in Florida & therefore, no rush to get off the ship.

Once we left, we went through customs which didn't take long and off we left.

While I enjoyed the ship, it was older, but nice and not as modern as today's bigger ships. I would do this cruise again because it is the only Royal ship to go to the Bahamas now and its short.

I asked a guy serving drinks at the pool if he had heard anything about the future of Sovereign. He said they are making plans about the ship because of the age to either move it elsewhere and bring in another ship or sell it off. When I asked why considering they just refurbished it back in 2004, he just shrugged and said each 3 and 4 day cruise books nearly 100% full so they have already made their money back on the cost. But that won't happen he thinks for at least another 2-3 years. He also knows that Royal wants to bring in a bigger ship to Port Canaveral which apparently is no secret. He said everyone on the ship knows about that. So you heard it here from the horse's mouth.