CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Sovereign of the Seas Bahamas January 13, 2002

I will not repeat all that has already been written. I would like to add a couple of suggestions tho. Prior to our cruise (January 2002 ... the weather was beautiful, in the 70's both in Orlando and during the cruise) my son & I arrived a day early in Orlando & rented a car at the airport from Avis for $27.27 w/ discount and drove to the Kennedy Space Center. It was a leisurly 1 hour drive. We got a late start & only got to spend about 4 hours there. I would say 5 - 6 hours would be more suitable. We paid $25.00ea, choosing not to have a "guided" tour. We saw exactly the same things they did, but at our own leisure. (Soverign also has an excursion for $65.00 that includes a return to the Orlando Airport). Avis has a return office in Port Canaveral & does NOT charge a different city drop-off charge as some rentals do. They provided a free shuttle to the Soverign from their office and after leaving the Space Center arrived at the Soverign at 3;00 pm. Boarding took approx. 5 minutes. (My son had left his CD player in our rental back at their office & an Avis driver had it back to us in less than 15 minutes). No charge, no complaint, no problem.

I have read a few reviews that complained that the Soverign was dirty, toilets did not work and the food in the dining room was like the "Golden Griddle." I absolutely did not find any of that to be true on my cruise. The food in the Windjammer was of the "Golden Griddle" variety but the dining room food was prepared perfectly on every occasion. My son had 2 Filet Mignons on formal night as did one of our table mates...the beef was always cooked to perfection. Also, long lines do form for the midnight buffets, but we would arrive 15-20 minutes early and that would save us 40+ minutes of additional waiting after opening.

Think of what you may need to have on the cruise & purchase it before hand! We purchased our underwater cameras for $8.00 at Wal-Mart but forgot to purchase the water-shoes to keep from hurting our feet on the rocks at Coco Cay. We bought 2 pairs @ $20.00ea on the ship & saw them later in Orlando for $8.00ea. They were still worth it as we could easily walk on the rocks. We spent the ENTIRE day snorkeling on Coco Cay for $26.00ea whereas in Nassau you would get about 1 hour of actual snorkeling for $35.00 (?). We saw stingrays, tons of fish (especially close to rock formations where there are not a lot of other swimmers) & a BARRACUDA! My son was very excited & I was very eager to get away. Most of the other cruisers left the island early, we finally drug ourselves out of the water @ 4:00p.m. (the last tender is at 4:30). The food on the island was typical for a barbeque (don't know what some people expect barbeque food to be like!) Also, in Nassau we went to Atlantis at night & went inside "The Dig" for free by going outside along the top of the aquarium and then down some stairs. I am certainly glad I didn't spend any money to see it...stick with what you can see of the aquarium for free. Atlantis is an over-the-top hotel/city unto itself. During the day we'd gone to the Pirates Museum on our own on Nassau. It cost $10.00ea after a $2.00 coupon & was interesting if you like history. You also receive a free rum drink at the conclusion of your trip through. It is easily located w/ info gained from the Visiors Bureau in Nassau just off the ship.

I must say I was not bothered about getting my hair braided (it is fairly short so that may explain it) and was not bothered by any taxi drivers (they asked but you only had to say no or smile & shake your head "no", or shop keepers. (I did not go to the Straw Market, however). Nassau was not that interesting to me all-in-all as I am not a big shopper.

My only complaint is not about the ship or the staff. It is about the other cruisers. They seemed to think that if you looked at someone you didn't know & said "Hi" w/ a smile that you were making some sort of committment. I found when I was walking alone that as soon as others got close, many would look out to sea or in another direction. I never did understand it. You CAN relax and be friendly on a cruise without being misinterpreted. Enjoy.

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