Royal Caribbean’s oldest ship in its fleet: Majesty of the Seas
Built in 1992, this is the last of the Sovereign Class of ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet with the Mariner having been transferred to Spanish operator Pullmantur in the past year. It plies the route between Miami and the Bahamas on three and four day tours with calls into Nassau and Coco Cay.
Firstly, the boarding was fairly easy but people who have never cruised before might want to prepare for the various lines and procedures. You don’t just walk on and it is still amazing to hear people grouse about having to wait and go through security and various check points. All was handled quickly and professionally and the Royal Caribbean land crew were genuinely interested and excited about our cruise.
From the moment we boarded the crew were very friendly and interested. We chatted with no fewer than four crew who came up to us and asked how we were doing and where we were from. The crew cares and was doing what it should do – interact positively with guests and ensure they have a great time. It had been a few years since I’d done a short cruise but I don’t seem to recall this much attention by the crew in short cruises past.
The overall impression of the ship was that it was immaculate and nicely refurbished. There wasn’t anything that looked dated and even the carpeting was nice, bright and clean. There was a spa, bars, restaurants, coffee shop, fitness center, rock climbing wall, pool, jacuzzi tubs, shops, casino, atrium, lounges, dining rooms and everything you would expect on a cruise ship.
And none of it appeared dated. The dining room service was excellent and the usual antics and performances by the staff were fun, especially for first time cruisers. I personally didn’t need to hear everyone from the sous chef to the maitre’d introduced and applauded but it was nice for people who have no idea what is involved in food service on a cruise ship. I liken the older ships to more nostalgia than anything else – probably why I prefer an older Eastern European night train to a modern one in Switzerland.
The cabins on these ships are smaller and that was probably my only issue with the ship at all and we knew that would be the case. It certainly was fine for a short cruise. The mini-bar service is on the desk but one time we had some beer and the room steward put it on ice for us.
We would certainly take another cruise on this ship. The crew were amazing and far exceeded our expectations. The food was also above our expectations. Sorrento’s Pizza and the Compass Deli was excellent (they have more than just pizza) and we also had great gelato at the coffee shop (Cafe Latte-tudes) by the Shops of Centrum. We almost never take in a show or experience much entertainment on any cruise so we can’t comment on that though our dinner mates, who were perfect, enjoyed some of the shows.
Overall, a great and generally inexpensive getaway that doesn’t take too much of your PTO or vacation time from work. And if you can’t drive in, MIA or FLL often have inexpensive flights to/from many destinations.