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One thing is true about the shorter cruises; they’re usually done with older and oldest ships in a cruise line’s fleet.
Take Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas. Built in 1992, this ship has seen quite a bit of ocean. Here at Port Canaveral, the Majesty of the Seas alternates three- and four-night cruises to the Bahamas. And after a recent refurbishment, we needed a new look at this ship.
For a peek at what a cruise is like aboard this 25-year old ship, here’s a short Majesty of the Seas review I recently received from a long-time reader of this blog.
Review by Merle S. from Melbourne, FL
Number of cruises: 30+
Traveling with: Girlfriends 55 yrs. and up
Date of cruise: February 2017 – 4-night Bahamas to Nassau and Coco Cay
Since Merle and friends all live near Port Canaveral, it was easy to arrange for husbands to drop them off at the port. That alleviated having to park in the multi-story structure and walk with a carry-on to the terminal. According to Merle, embarkation from drop-off point to boarding the ship was quick and efficient. Welcome aboard crew was very helpful in directing guests to their staterooms.
Merle was happy to report that her first impression upon boarding the Majesty of the Seas was that this 25-year old ship looked good. Because it was a Sunday – Thursday cruise, the demographics were a little different than a typical Friday – Sunday weekend getaway cruise; less kids and slightly older passengers.
Unfortunately because Merle’s room attendant didn’t begin his shift until 3pm and a seemingly new luggage delivery system, everyone’s luggage sat at the end of the corridor stacked on the trolleys until their room attendant clocked in to begin sorting the luggage. Bags arrived just after sailaway so not so bad.
Merle’s stateroom was “clean and fresh” and because she’s a Diamond Plus member, there were some toiletries in the bathroom. But, she added, there was little drawer space and relied on mainly shelves for clothes. That’s how it is on older ships. The biggest issue she and her roommate faced was using the in-room safe. Apparently it’s located on the lowest possible shelf level and to open it meant sitting on the floor and using her phone’s flashlight to see inside.
Dining room service was attentive and the menu offered a good selection and…great desserts. On the down side, Merle and friends all thought that there was virtually no atmosphere or oomph to the decor. Because of the low ceiling (again, an older ship feature) the dining room was noisy and felt over-crowded. Dress codes were not enforced in the main dining room at dinner so jeans, shorts and baseball caps were common. But hey, great desserts!
Even on boarding day, Merle noticed that there were hardly any lines at the buffet. Throughout the cruise, everyone agreed that the Lido food was good and there was a nice variety to choose, in every course. They also agreed that it was very clean.
Despite it being very noisy and a lot of “homesteaders” on the first day staking out their chairs, there still seemed to be available lounge chairs even at sailaway time. On port day, the ship and the pool area were empty. The outdoor movie screen was a nice addition.
The main production numbers with singers and dancers scored an “Excellent” rating from Merle. She also thought the other shows were very good, too.
This Girlfriends Group opted to stay onboard and enjoy the afternoons when in port at Nassau and Coco Cay. With nearly the entire ship gone ashore, you can bet that there were some crowds in downtown Nassau and a lot of fun happening on Coco Cay.
Final thoughts and advice:
Everyone in Merle’s group opted for early walk-off which began at 7am (time can vary depending upon when the ship is cleared to debark passengers.) Early walk-off was speedy as was immigration.
This the the group’s ninth Girls Getaway cruise with Royal Caribbean so there was a solidly positive track record. However, next year just to shake things up a bit, they’re thinking of a bus trip to somewhere in the southern USA instead of a cruise. But I’ll bet they’ll be back again in two years!