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thrifty99

Majesty mini review Jan 18-25, 2020

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We sailed on the Majesty Jan 18-25, 2020.  For disclosure, we love the big ships and have sailed primarily Oasis class the past several years.  We decided to sail on the Majesty for 3 reasons.  1 - To try a smaller ship.  2 - To sail out of New Orleans since it is the closest drive from our home near Nashville.  3 - Ports of Coco Cay and Key West were two we have not been to.

 

Our biggest concern going on the Majesty was its size… one of the smallest ship in the fleet.  We were concerned about the entertainment and if there would be enough to do on the ship.  But we boarded with an open mind and knew any cruise can be fun if you have a good attitude.

 

We arrived at the port the morning of our cruise.  We definitely prefer Port Everglades or Port Canaveral.  The road at the port terminal in New Orleans was more congested with people being dropped off and people trying to park.  The parking lot (Julian Street) was convenient to the terminal as it is right across the street.  The only other note is the walk to the terminal from the parking lot crosses several railroad tracks.  I wondered if anyone had every lost a suitcase wheel as these were pretty bumpy tracks.

 

We arrived shortly after boarding had begun (about 11:30) and it wasn’t too long of a wait to get checked in.  We checked out the ship and had a bite to eat in the Windjammer while we waited for the cabins to be ready which was about 12:50pm.

 

Our cabin was on deck 9 and was one of the larger Outside View cabins.  We always cruise in balcony cabins as I can get claustrophobic at times.  However, the only balcony cabins on Majesty are in suites and it was not worth the price.  Cruise Critic definitely helped me when choosing the cabin as I used the information others had posted about the best cabins on deck 9 to avoid the lifeboats blocking the view.  We were in cabin 9532 and had a great view as the smaller boat (not a full life boat) was outside our window.

 

The cabin was nicer than I had expected.  Plenty of space and the shower with the curtain vs the curved glass doors of those on Oasis class was larger.  There was not great shelving in the bathroom to put things, but not a huge deal.  I only found 2 electrical plugs in the cabin at the desk.  But I had brought a 3-way plug splitter and a USB 4 port charger for our electronic devices so that was fine.

 

I will break down the remainder of this review by topic.

 

 

Dining / Restaurants:

Coming from Oasis class we knew this would be a big difference.  We enjoy dining at specialty restaurants 3-4 nights on a 7 night cruise.  Majesty has very little options for dining and this was the first cruise in a long time we ate in the Main Dining Room (MDR) almost every night (skipped one night).  The food was typical MDR food and the waiters did seem a bit more attentive (maybe fewer guests to take care of versus the Oasis MDR).  We usually do My Time Dining and eat at a table just for the 2 of us.  The first night on Majesty we were taken to our table that seats 8 and thought “Oh no”.  We had had some bad experiences with shared tables in the past.  But I’m happy to report that we had the best table mates ever.  3 great couples (2 older and one younger) and we thoroughly enjoyed our dinners with them every night.  This helped make up for the lack of dining choices available on this ship.

 

We did most of our breakfast and lunch meals in the Windjammer while on board.  Typical Windjammer experience.  It is pretty small, but they do a good job of providing as many options as possible.  Tried one day eating lunch in the MDR but they seemed very over-worked / confused.  Our meals came at different times (my wife’s arrived 10 minutes after mine).  The food was cold and service very poor that meal.

 

The Oasis class has additional free food such as Boardwalk Dogs, Wipeout Cafe, and the Park Cafe.  I really missed the Kummelweck sandwich… the roast beef sandwich from the Park Cafe.

 

 

Entertainment:

Unfortunately, this was a huge disappointment for us.  There is so much more variety of shows on the larger ships and the Majesty really provided only one decent night of entertainment for us (singer / dancer Tony Tillman).  We missed a comedian on the first night and I heard he was pretty good so that would have been 2 good shows.  The next 3 nights were not enjoyable for us at all.  The Royal Caribbean dancers and then 2 nights of the Royal Caribbean orchestra.  The 2nd night of the orchestra was due to us missing Nassau so our Juggler / comedian could not board our ship.

 

In comparison, on the typical Oasis class sailing we enjoy the Broadway show, Cirque Du Soleil type of show, headliner show, ice skating show, Aqua Theater show, and comedy shows.  Something really great almost every night of the cruise.  Note… sailing on the Oasis class does entail additional planning.  You must make reservations for shows ahead of time or you may not get to see them (especially the comedy shows).  The same with Specialty restaurants.

 

 

Swimming Pools:

We were disappointed in the pool / hot tubs.  I had read where Majesty had 2 pools and one was adults only.  This was not the case (unless I somehow missed a hidden pool).  While there were not many kids on this sailing, they all liked the hot tubs.  It was hard to get a seat at times with all the kids playing in the hot tubs.  I heard many comments from passengers that they needed an adults only pool / hot tub area. Other ships have separate pools and hot tubs for adults only and we have found they strictly enforce it.

 

 

Bars / Lounges:

We really only used the Schooner bar lounge and Majesty’s is very nice.  We tried to go up to the Viking Crown Lounge for a quiet place to read, but it was always very cold so we never stayed.

 

As I mentioned in another thread, the nightly Diamond event (food & drinks) had been held in the Viking Crown Lounge but they discontinued this the week we sailed.  Bad timing for us.  We enjoy the nightly Diamond event on other ships to chat with people before dinner.  The good news is I ate less as I tend to nibble during these nightly events and we still met great people while hanging out in the Schooner Bar before dinner.

 

 

Ports:

We were excited to try 2 new ports on this trip.  Key West and Coco Cay.

 

Key West was a great walking port. We did the “touristy” things… walked down by Hemingway House and to the Southernmost Point buoy.  Then checked out some of the shopping and of course had some key lime pie.  Walked about 4 miles and had a great visit to Key West.  Not sure I would need to ever go back.  It is a typical cruise port town with lots of souvenir type stores.

 

Coco Cay was a relaxing day at the beach.  There were plenty of loungers and umbrellas.  Just get there early to get one up front at the beach.  Temperature was low 70’s and pretty windy and the water in the gulf and at the pools was quite cold (it was January after all).  We did not do the water park.  I don’t know how feasible it would be, but having the pool heated would be a big bonus.  Most people avoided the water due to how cold it was.  I can’t imagine how cold it must have been to be in the water park with the cold water and strong winds.

 

The food was very good at the buffet station.  I did enjoy one of my indulgences… funnel cakes!!!  I may have even had 2 of them while on Coco Cay.  They are located at the Snack Shack.

 

The Beach Club was not open yet and it looked like there was a lot of work left to do.  We will be back to Coco Cay in April and December this year.  We have reservations at the Beach Club in December for something new to try.

 

Unfortunately, the windy weather prevented us from going to Nassau after Coco Cay.  This was fine with us as Nassau along with Cozumel are our 2 least favorite ports.  We were docked next to Mariner in Coco Cay and they made it to Nassau that night.  I’m not sure why we could not make it… maybe Royal didn’t have another port spot available for overnight.  The captain made some comment about not having enough time / speed of the ship in regards to making it too Nassau.  Maybe we could not get there as fast as Mariner to beat the higher winds that we’re coming.

 

Anyway, we went back to Key West for our Nassau replacement port.  That ended up being a bad choice.  We arrived later than expected as the captain said he did not make as good of speed as he had hoped.  We arrived about 11:00am but then everyone on board had to go through Customs since we had visited a foreign port (Coco Cay) and then returned to a US port.  What a frustrating day as they kept pushing back the times for the customs check.  We finally had ours at about 2:00pm.  It was also frustrating that Majesty docked at the further pier requiring a 10-15 minute open air shuttle into Key West.  It was colder and very windy so many of us skipped getting off the ship, especially since we cleared customs so late.  The main pier right at the downtown area of Key West would have been much more convenient and it sat empty all day.   I would have preferred it if we had sailed a more southerly route for a warmer “at sea” day than returning to a late, cold, and windy 2nd day in Key West.

 

The last 2 days of our sailing were “at sea” days.  The first was great… warm and sunny.  Great day to hang out by the pool most of the day and relax.  The 2nd day was much colder and windy so it was an inside day.  Did a few trivia events and watched some of the Australian Open.  I wish they would show a movie inside in the theater on the colder days as they have done on Oasis class. They showed them only outside on the big screen and some nights it was pretty cold & windy.

 

A significant concern to consider when sailing on a smaller ship is its ability to make changes to ports due to weather conditions.  It seems Majesty is considerably smaller and cannot sail as fast as the larger ships so its range is limited.  If you encounter bad weather and have to re-route, there are few ports to choose from.  

 

Attention from Staff:

I read many comments about the smaller ships have better staff / more attention from staff.  We maybe had a little extra attention at dinner, but otherwise the staff was no different on this ship.  I had one negative interaction with one of the cruise activity staff.  I had heard rumors that we did not have the juggler / comedian on board so while we were all waiting for this in the theater, I approached him to ask about it.  He said, “if you picked up an updated activity sheet at the desk this morning you would see he is not scheduled”.  I replied that he was on the cruise compass that was delivered to our room and he was till on the Royal App.  He replied that the paper copy at the desk is always the most up to date and seemed very annoyed I was even questioning him.  They really could have done a better job of communicating this.  Heck, print out on a piece of paper and put it at the entrance to the theater that night explaining the change in entertainment.  Unfortunately, when they announced to the room that the juggler was missing and they wold have night 2 of the orchestra playing, over 1/2 the room got up and left.  I felt bad for the orchestra.

 

 

Internet / technology:

We purchased the slower of the 2 internet packages and it worked fine for most of the trip.  The speeds were slower than on Oasis class for the same lower tier internet.  We shared one access and it was easy to switch between users.

 

I did miss not being able to check our accounts on the TV in the room.  We also could not check it on our Royal app.  So a couple of times during the week we had the Guest Services desk print out our statement so we could check for any errors.  All was good.

 

 

Getting around the ship:

The ship is much smaller so it was easy to get around.  However, I actually found it more difficult to get an elevator on the Majesty than the Oasis class.  I also found it surprising there is no elevator to deck 12 where Johnny Rockets, Sorentos, and the Cafe are located.  One man in a scooter was complaining he was denied access to those areas.  I did not hang around to see if there was another elevator somewhere (maybe a service elevator) they found for him to use.

 

As for crowd comparisons, this seemed about equal to the Oasis class.  Fewer passengers on Majesty, but a lot fewer common areas to spread out in.  We find Oasis class handles the additional passengers very well with the larger Promenade deck, Central Park, Boardwalk, and additional pools.  The Windjammer seemed a little less crowded on Majesty than the Oasis class.

 

The Majesty also blocked off the central stairway some times when they were playing music in that area.  This was a bit frustrating as they did this a couple of times at dinner time and made it more difficult to easily move between decks.  

 

 

Disembarking:

Wow, it seemed everyone wanted to get off the ship early.  We went down to deck 4 about 30 minutes before they opened up for disembarking.  There were probably 200-300 people in line in front of us (maybe more).  The line went from the gangway in deck 4 down to the main dining room, all the way around the back of the main dining room and all the way back across the ship to the front elevator bay.  That elevator bay area was jammed full of people.  But once it got moving, it went pretty smoothly.

 

 

Kids Activities:

We did not have kids with us so can' review those services.

 

 

Summary:

Overall, the cruise was about as we expected.  We would not sail on Majesty again and would drive the extra 3-1/2 hours to Port Canaveral for a bigger ship.  But now we can say we tried one of the smallest ships.

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Here are a couple of photos from our window in cabin 9532. Note that we were on the port side and I would choose starboard as that was facing inland at Key West. 
 

The one photo I show the lifeboat to the right (Forward) of our room.  It blocks more of the view. 

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Thanks for taking time to post this review! I'll be going on this cruise in March, like you mentioned my main reason for choosing Majesty is  that it's an easy drive to New Orleans from my home. Sounds like your experience was similar to what i was expecting. Although I can totally understand how you wouldn't want to repeat on this ship, I have to admit it a bit disappointing to hear. 😉

 

Justin

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20 minutes ago, jus10cruise said:

Thanks for taking time to post this review! I'll be going on this cruise in March, like you mentioned my main reason for choosing Majesty is  that it's an easy drive to New Orleans from my home. Sounds like your experience was similar to what i was expecting. Although I can totally understand how you wouldn't want to repeat on this ship, I have to admit it a bit disappointing to hear. 😉

 

Justin

March should be better for warmer temps and hopefully you will have good seas to make it to all 3 ports.  That will help on this sailing. 

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If possible, would you please post daily compasses? Going in April and new to RCL. We have only been on CCL out of NOLA in past.

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2 minutes ago, SandiLynn said:

Thank you!!! How was the smoke? 

Smoke? 

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How was the smell from smoking? Was the cigarette smoke contained to smoking areas? 

 

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5 hours ago, jus10cruise said:

Thanks for taking time to post this review! I'll be going on this cruise in March, like you mentioned my main reason for choosing Majesty is  that it's an easy drive to New Orleans from my home. Sounds like your experience was similar to what i was expecting. Although I can totally understand how you wouldn't want to repeat on this ship, I have to admit it a bit disappointing to hear. 😉

 

Justin

 

I was also on this cruise.  I have been on Majesty many times when it went out of Port Canaveral. We met friends in the  middle so that's why we went out of NOLA.  A few days spent there to start the party.  Just realize the price point for this ship.  You will not get the big ship feel.  IMO going to Key West twice was better than trying to go to Nassau in a storm.  Been to Nassau a lot and we stay on the ship.  Yes, there is too much smoke in the casino.  Yes, there were a lot of kids this cruise.  Our biggest complaint was the removal of the diamond event.  This made the other bars more crowded and service very slow. It was a corporate decision for the Empress and Majesty.  Unfortunately, they didn't add any more drinks to your seapass either.  So go with an open mind and only you can choose to not have a good time.  Stay positive my friend!!!

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1 hour ago, SandiLynn said:

How was the smell from smoking? Was the cigarette smoke contained to smoking areas? 

 

Smoking limited to a certain area on deck (near the pool) and in the casino.  Near the pool never bothered me unless I had to use the bathroom in the pool area. You had to walk right through the smokers. 
 

The casino has a small “non-smoking” area but in such a small space it doesn’t help much.  
 

Otherwise you won’t be bothered by smoke anywhere.  A fellow passenger did tell us there was a young couple vaping in the theater. There are always some who the rules don’t apply to. 

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It’s a shame they didn’t offer more indoor activities when the weather was less agreeable. My bestie and I were on Majesty in July (thought she was a great little ship that suited our needs perfectly!) during the women’s World Cup finals. Final match was during a sea day and they had watch parties set up all over the ship, including in the main theater. We watched the win on the outdoor screen while enjoying the sun and drinks. 🙂

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9 hours ago, thrifty99 said:

I also found it surprising there is no elevator to deck 12 where Johnny Rockets, Sorentos, and the Cafe are located.  One man in a scooter was complaining he was denied access to those areas. 


You can go up the back elevator and then forward on the running track to access that area.  It's not the most convenient way, but it is accessible.

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Thanks for review.

 

In regards to speed of the ship.  It is not a factor of the size of the ship.  Generally cruise ships travel around 19-21 knots.  There may have been other factors involved.

 

In regards to the location of the second docking at Key West.  Key West has a love/hate relationship with cruise ships esp with the dock you noticed was unoccupied during your second visit.

 

Again thanks for your review.

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3 hours ago, thrifty99 said:

Smoking limited to a certain area on deck (near the pool) and in the casino.  Near the pool never bothered me unless I had to use the bathroom in the pool area. You had to walk right through the smokers. 
 

The casino has a small “non-smoking” area but in such a small space it doesn’t help much.  
 

Otherwise you won’t be bothered by smoke anywhere.  A fellow passenger did tell us there was a young couple vaping in the theater. There are always some who the rules don’t apply to. 

Thank you, we love CCL Dream but she left and Glory is her replacement.  Smoking area was where all the bands played. Is there a way to text others on ship?

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9 hours ago, gatour said:

Thanks for review.

 

In regards to speed of the ship.  It is not a factor of the size of the ship.  Generally cruise ships travel around 19-21 knots.  

I thought when I looked up Majesty it had a lower cruising speed of 15 knots compared to 20-25 of some larger ships. 

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9 hours ago, SandiLynn said:

Thank you, we love CCL Dream but she left and Glory is her replacement.  Smoking area was where all the bands played. Is there a way to text others on ship?

If you don’t purchase the ship Wi-Fi then you can’t text others. The Royal app has some basic messaging built in but it works sporadically at best on larger ships we have sailed. It did not work at all for us on Majesty last week. 

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8 hours ago, thrifty99 said:

I thought when I looked up Majesty it had a lower cruising speed of 15 knots compared to 20-25 of some larger ships. 

22 knots is her top speed which is comparable to larger ships.  However fuel consumption concerns also come into play.  I generally see speeds of between 15 - 19 knows no matter the size of ship.  However they will even do slower speeds if the next port of call is close to the port that was just left.  They will even just "float".

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My husband and I were on this cruise as well.  He asked the Cruise Director, who was on our shuttle into town on the 2nd Key West day, why we didn't park downtown and we were told it is because they make the ship leave by 4:00 pm, but the navy base would allow us to stay longer into the evening.  Regarding the kids, they were everywhere, as RCCL has a kids sail free promotion on almost every one of their ships.  We were told 300-400 of them running/jumping on the staircases, and as you say taking up all the hot tubs, taking over the atrium and bar dance floors, sitting at the bar stools in Boleros, and screaming as you walk by their rooms.  It was quite annoying.  Regarding the cigarette smoke, that is subject to how many smokers are booked on the ship.  This week was terrible for us.  We could not enjoy a lounge chair on the non-smoking side anywhere around the pool because the smell was everywhere.  As some others noted, Diamond and D+ had no nightly cocktail evening in Viking Crown lounge and only received 3 free drinks on their seapass card.  We did not receive an email regarding this, nor a note in our cabin from the concierge explaining this, so there were a couple hundred very upset passengers who probably wouldn't have booked this cruise if they had known.  I understand that the sailing was cheap and didn't let it bother me much after the initial shock.  The Captain did explain that had we gone to Nassau, we would have encountered rain blowing sideways, waves crashing over the pier, riptides, and he feared that had we gotten into port, the 40-50 mph gale force winds would have kept us there past our scheduled time to depart, and we wouldn't have gotten back to New Orleans on schedule.  Also of note, on our 2nd Key West stop, we were told onboard that it was the coldest day there in the last 5 years, around 60 degrees for the high.  Great business for the shops as people were having to buy sweatshirts to stay warm.  Other than the facts mentioned, it could have been a lovely week on an older ship, but these issues made for a week of irritation.  

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On 1/27/2020 at 6:34 AM, thrifty99 said:

If you don’t purchase the ship Wi-Fi then you can’t text others. The Royal app has some basic messaging built in but it works sporadically at best on larger ships we have sailed. It did not work at all for us on Majesty last week. 

Do people dress up in 50s, 70s attire 

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Mainly the cruise director staff will dress up, probably mostly because passengers don't know ahead of time that these theme nights will occur.  The most widely dressed theme night will be for caribbean attire, because almost everyone owns and brings a caribbean shirt.

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Thanks for the complete review. Regarding the lack of the Diamond Happy Hour, Did you go to Captain’s Corner where it was discussed?  Somewhere I read people would ask about it and responses were cut short. 
 

We were on Majesty Last May. Happy Hour was so nice. I really hate that they have removed this event. It changes something I had looked forward to. We sail in two weeks. 

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30 minutes ago, internetwhiz said:

Thanks for the complete review. Regarding the lack of the Diamond Happy Hour, Did you go to Captain’s Corner where it was discussed?  Somewhere I read people would ask about it and responses were cut short. 
 

We were on Majesty Last May. Happy Hour was so nice. I really hate that they have removed this event. It changes something I had looked forward to. We sail in two weeks. 

No - I did not go to the Captains Corner. 

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Thank you all so much for the review and comments. We sailed Majesty's Christmas cruise December 18-25, 2019. We haven't sailed too much yet, but do have some experience, as little as it is. I was nervous about the 'small (possibly) unexciting ship.' Due to work, it is virtually impossible for me to travel in December, so when I was able to and they had this super cheap cruise including Christmas, I jumped on it. 

 

We were six people in three rooms; ages 60+, 2-50+, 26, 20, 17. 

 

We loved it. The size was amazing-I took five steps in any direction and I was where I wanted to be! LOL. We did not experience any lines at all. We were fortunate that the two times we went in the hot tub, it was child free. Pre-cruise we planned our own Christmas events. We decorated our three rooms and had a contest and prizes. We had a PJ party in one room with room service and wine; albeit tiny, it was wholesome family fun. Room steward was great. I've always had a refrigerator in the room and was surprised/disappointed their was none. That is my only room complaint. 

 

We rarely do specialty dining so MDR was what we are used to and the food and service were what we have come to expect, so no disappointments there. We did do the Chef's Table on our first night-amazing...... I will be doing that on every cruise from now on! 

 

I absolutely share your frustration with the Cruise Compass inaccuracies and inability to post a sign! Several times! That was the most/only frustrating part of the cruise for me. 

 

For us, for the opportunity to cruise literally during Christmas and for what I think was super cheap for a holiday-I loved it. 

 

 

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