I had printed my “Set Sail Pass” several days before the cruise, so check-in was an absolute breeze. I was traveling very light and did not check any luggage, so I proceeded directly from curbside to the cruise check-in counter just before 11:30am. There were no lines at all inside the cruise terminal, and I was through document check, security and standing in front of the very pleasant and friendly check-in agent within minutes. The remainder of the check-in process was just as quick, and the friendly agent even noted my Crown & Anchor Society Diamond status. (For the uninitiated, Royal Caribbean has a frequent cruiser program with varying benefits which increase with the amount of cruises you take with them….not unlike airline elite status other than the fact that once you attain an elite level, you keep it forever.) I didn’t track it closely, but if the journey from the taxi-cab to having my first beer onboard the ship was more than 20 minutes, I’d be surprised.
Cabins were advertised as being available at 1pm, so we proceeded straight to the pool bar to get things started on the right foot. I’ve always been happy with the bar service on every Royal Caribbean ship I’ve sailed on and this one was no different. The 3-night “weekenders” to the Bahamas tend to attract a party oriented crowd, and this cruise was no different. The bar staff did a good job of keeping up with us. In fact, our little group picked a favorite early on. We took care of him, and he took care of us throughout the entire cruise.
My Best Man and I took an outside oceanview cabin on deck 2 for this cruise. The beds were set apart which seemed to give the appearance of having a little more room. The cabins on Majesty are compact to put it mildly, but there was plenty of space for 2 people to get through a weekend with. Our room was well maintained by our cabin steward, but I have to say that this is the first cruise I have ever taken that the steward did not stop by to introduce him/herself at any point. No complaints about the service provided though.
Our party only tried two options on board, the main dining room and the Windjammer buffet. We took breakfast each day in the buffet. Offerings were typical, eggs, bacon, sausage….along with the various other typical items…pastries, fruit, smoked salmon. They also offer a very tasty made to order omelet option that I highly recommend.
We made the decision prior to travel that no formal attire would be donned during my bachelor party, so we were relegated to the buffet for dinner on one night. They dress up the atmosphere just a bit with candlelight and take the available entrees up a notch. The dinner food in the buffet was fine. Frankly, it would’ve been fine with me to dine there every night if I had to.
Dining room food and service were acceptable, and some of the entrees were even quite good. A lot of people I know tend to complain about the food for some reason. Back when the ships held 800 passengers, the main dining room meals were quite a bit more elaborate than they are now when our small ship has 2,500 passengers. In short, the meals have slipped from 5 star to something less. I still find them to be fine. I don’t have to cook it or buy it (separately) so I’m ok with it.
Royal Caribbean offers a sit-down restaurant aboard many of its newer ships called Chops Grille where you dine on premium cuts of meat for a seating fee, and one that is well worth the price. It’s a small “steakhouse” and offers a fine dining experience. It’s usually my first stop after boarding as reservations go quickly. Recently, Royal Caribbean has begun offering the option to purchase a “Chops Grille” steak in the main dining room of ships that are not equipped with the actual restaurant for $14.95. It’s a concept that I understand in principal, but it’s execution onboard this cruise was lacking.
On the final night of the cruise three members of my party elected to try the “Chops Grille” option after hearing me blather about how fantastic the steaks were. I’m not certain if this was a one-off deal or not, but our steaks were disappointing. The “Chops Grille” option was a 10 ounce New York Strip. This just happened to coincide with a New York Strip being offered on the regular dining room menu as well. After receiving every assurance that the “Chops” cut was superior to the regular offering, three of us took a chance. Long story short, the steaks did not measure up. They were equal in appearance and quality to the standard steak offered on the regular menu. Very disappointing and we let the Head Waiter know. I don’t typically make judgments based on one experience, and I won’t now. But be wary of this option, ask questions of the wait staff, and if you decide to try it, let the staff know if it doesn’t measure up.
Note: Majesty also offers Johnny Rockets and Sorento Deli dining options onboard. I did not try these during this cruise.
Ports of Call
This short 3-night cruise includes stops in CocoCay and Nassau Bahamas. CocoCay is Royal Caribbean’s private island. There is no pier so you have to anchor off shore and take a small boat or “tender” to the island. This was my third trip to CocoCay. It includes a nice beach, several activity options (parasailing, jetskis, snorkeling to name a few), shopping, lunch cooked on the island, and most importantly for a bachelor party, several bars. We picked one spot and camped out for the better part of the day. Our bartender friend from day one was working on the island and took care of us all day. While the ship arrives around 8am, we didn’t disembark until 11am or so and returned to the ship around 4pm. The ship departs CocoCay at 5pm, so you get a pretty full day.
Nassau is the second stop of the cruise. You are there on Sunday, so several shops are closed, but a good core of shopping options close to the port open specifically for the ships so you won’t be lacking for shopping if that’s what you need to do. Lady Astrojets sent me off with a shopping list which I took care of. Don’t tell her, but I also purchased her wedding present in Nassau as well. My shopping was done in about 30 minutes so then it was off to Senor Frogs for the better part of the rest of the day. I won’t say anything else.
The ship departs Nassau at 5pm, and then you get to spend the rest of the evening either being sad that this all comes to an end the next morning or making the best of it. I’ll let you guess which option the bachelor party pursued.
Majesty of the Seas, like other ships offers multiple entertainment venues. After dinner shows, numerous bars and clubs, athletic activities, rock climbing, etc. I highly recommend the onboard Latin dance club, Rumberos. Live music and a great scene. Try the salsa lessons. The Spectrum disco was great as well. One of my favorite features of every Royal Caribbean ship is the Viking Crown Lounge perched above the pool. On Majesty, Monarch and Sovereign of the Seas, the lounge surrounds the “smoke stack” just aft of the pool. On Majesty, the Viking serves as the evening cigar lounge if you’re so inclined. The Schooner Bar is another feature of every Royal Caribbean ship. The atmosphere is usually a little laid back, but typically there’s a piano player, sometimes an entertaining one to keep things going.
Like all good things, this cruise eventually came to an end. Customs was a little slow in receiving guests this trip which made for lines onboard the ship. It wasn’t horrible, but I’ve seen much better. Nonetheless, we were still off the ship by 10:30am or so and in a cab headed to the airport.
Long story short, another great cruise. It was kind of fun not worrying about a timetable of shore excursions and picture taking to be honest. In fact, my photo was not once taken by a ship’s photographer. A cruising first for me! But I’m happy that my next cruise will be with Lady Astrojets for our honeymoon. And I’ll be back in my tuxedo for formal night.