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7/7/06


GottaCruz
"I?m very glad that we decided to try RC. There were a few features of this ship that we enjoyed. However, we do feel that you get much more for the money with Carnival."

TRIP INFO

Sail Date:07/07/2006
Destination:
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RATINGS

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COMPLETE REVIEW

The purpose of my review is not just to tell you about our cruise aboard the Majesty of the Seas , an RC ship , but to compare this ship to the Carnival Fascination. These two ships are approximately the same size and since we cruised the Fascination on June 2nd and the Majesty on July 7th, I want to compare many of the features that are still fresh in my mind. In all fairness to RC, I have to first say that we have sailed with Carnival 25 or so times , several of them aboard the Fascination. This was our very first RC cruise, so of course we noticed so many differences that we wouldn?t have noticed , had we not cruised the Fascination so many times.

I can?t tell you how many people have told us , over the years, that RC is a step above Carnival in all areas. Well , we arrived at the port and couldn?t believe how the inside of the terminal was more like the inside of an airport, very bright and cheerful , as opposed to the warehouse style of the Carnival terminal. So, we started off on a very positive note. Embarkation was very smooth , just like on Carnival . When we got to the lobby, we were told that the cabins would not be ready till 1:00, which was about a 20 minute wait. We?ve never had to wait like that on Carnival . We always went directly to our cabin. This was not a big deal, though, so we hung out in the lobby , since we didn?t feel like shlepping our carry -ons to the Windjammer.

The Cabin

We opened the door to our cabin and were very shocked at the size. We book interior cabins on the Fascination, so here we are expecting something similar.This was much smaller. Anyway, since we spend very little time in the cabin, we would handle this fine. There was not even half the amount of storage space as on the Fascination. There was no designated place for the life vests and they took up space in the cabin. A very weird thing- the safe in the closet was a few inches off the floor. Can you picture a man Wayne?s height, getting down on the floor to open and close the safe? Anyway, the safe didn?t work and we had to call the technician, who came very quickly. Again, not a big deal.

The Food and Windjammer Cafe

The Windjammer Caf? was much more cheeful than the Lido on Fascination.. A huge difference between the ships is that on the Majesty , the eating area overlooks the water, on Fascination, the Lido is interior. Of course, on the Fascination, you can eat outside on the deck or by the ship railings but the restaurant itself is more inside on the Fascination. I was totally amazed when the staff offered to carry our dishes to the table for us. That was a nice touch. The staff poured your water, ice tea or lemondae for you and had many filled glasses already sitting there. All in all, the service was far superior on RC. As far as drinks, there was no fruit punch as there is on Carnival, but we don?t drink punch anyway, but I?m just comparing. The dessert table was very impressive- staff there to serve you rather than taking it yourself, as on Carnival. There were more dessert choices here .There was only 1 midnight buffet here as opposed to all three nights on the Fascination. In fact, late at night, you could only get water, coffee or tea and the water glasses were these really cheap disposable cups. The ice-cream machine was turned off after a certain time. On Carnival, punch and lemonade are always available , along with ice cream and pizza 24 hours .On RC, the pizza bar closes at 2 AM. The pizza on Carnival is far superior to that on RC.On Carnival, you can also get Caesar salad 24 hours a day at the pizza bar. Another thing that did bother us was , after returning from Coco Cay, we wanted to get some lemonade and sit in the air conditioned Windjammer. However, at this time of day, about 3:00, it?s locked because they prepare it for dinner. So, a/c was not to be had at that time. On the Fascination, the inside air conditioned area of the Lido is open 24 hours a day so even if you just need to get out of the heat, you can sit there. There was a midnight buffet on Saturday night on the pool deck. That was very enjoyable. The food was great, the best meal of the weekend, and there was music.

So here we are, on the first night. After dancing in the "On Your Toes" Disco, the main dance club onboard the ship, we had worked up quite an apetite. Earlier in the day, we had seen the advertisement for the "Midnight Delights" in the daily caper. Expecting a midnight buffet as we have become accustomed to on Carnival, we were looking forward to a late night snack. We proceeded to leave the disco and go search for the midnight delights. As we were making our way to the exit, a crew member walked past us holding a cocktail tray (in the dark, we couldn't tell what was on it). Joking around I said to Wayne, "Hey there's the midnight buffet!," but Wayne replied "yea right, let's go find the delights." So as we left the disco, we asked a staff member where the midnight delights were being served. To our surprise, he replied, "You just walked past it," pointing to the staff member holding the tray. We laughed, and we thought he was kidding...But as it turned out, he was very serious.

After we got over the initial shock, we asked where we could get a snack. We were told "If you'd like anything besides pizza, you need to go to your cabin and order room service." I can't tell you how many times we asked for something, and were told over and over again..."Go to your cabin and call room service." If we had gone to our cabin every time we were told to over the course of the weekend, we would never have made it out to see the light of day.

The Dining Room

On formal night, Saturday night, we went to the dining room. Since they didn?t serve lobster the first night, as they do on Carnival, I assumed they would have it the second night.. I was disappointed to find out they don?t serve lobster at all on the 3 night cruise. The service was fantastic. However, the salmon was dry and not very appetizing. We actually enjoyed the food more at the Windjammer the night before so we decided to eat at the Windjammer again for the last night.

The Pool Deck

The pool deck was very different from Fascination. What I liked , was that there were shallow areas in the pool where you could wade .On Fascination, the whole pool is deep , so you?re either in or out. This setup looked much more inviting. The deck was carpeted, which was very differnt than Fascination?s wood deck. Later, after it rained, the carpet was soggy and stayed that way for the whole cruise. The nice part about this deck was that there was so much shade for those of us who stay out of the sun. On the other hand, the chairs were practically packed in like sardines, practically touching each other and walking down the aisles, you had to be careful not to bang into someone?s feet hanging over the chair. At least, there were so many chairs, you?d never have to worry about getting one any time of the day.What I liked was the deck was lit up and you could sit out there , read, talk, whatever at night. On the Fascination, the lounge chairs are removed at night and the deck is not as well lit up. There are just tables and chairs on the deck at night on the Fascination. A great feature of this pool deck was that every other window was open so there was always a nice breeze. On the Fascination, there are only a couple of windows on each side of the ship that open so it?s much hotter . On this ship, you didn?t have to sign out the towels, you just took what you needed.

Entertainment

The first night?s show was a comedian- just OK. On the Fascination, you see 2 Las Vegas type shows in the 3 nights. We found out there would only be 1 of these type shows , and on the last night. So , the show the first night was only a comedian, 2nd night was a juggler, which we didn?t bother to see and the last night was the big one. Well, I can?t tell you how disappointed Wayne, Jason and I were. The stage was half the size of the stage on the Fascination, so there were half the number of dancers. The show had no pyrotechnics and had absolutely no props. On the Fascination, both shows are so amazing, one with a car on the stage, a carousel,a revolving stage, etc. all kinds of amazing things.The costumes on the Fascination are incredible, they have costume changes every few minutes. This show was only dancing, a dance or two for each Latin dance - tango, mambo, etc. Good dancers, but not what I would consider a good show, more like watching Dancing with the Stars, minus the stars.

The Teen Hang-out

The teen room was great on the ship. They had a real room to themselves with a dance floor, tvs and lots of other stuff, much nicer than the makeshift room on the Fascination in back of the casino. Also, what amazed me , and was fine with me, was the 1:00 AM curfew for all kids under 18, if not with parents. Great idea!!! Carnival needs to copy this.

The Spa

The spa was a huge disappointment, with many fewer exercise machines, maybe half as many. There was no jacuzzi in the spa like there is on Fascination, which Wayne really enjoys. There were just a handful of lockers, looked like they were bought in K-Mart , very makeshift, as opposed to the entire wall of lockers on Fascination. There was one toilet on the men?s side and one on the women?s, as opposed to several on each side on the Fascination. What I liked was they did have recumbent bikes, which is what I use at home. On the Fascination, , they don?t have them .Also, the gym was opened till 10 Pm, much later than on Carnival.

One great feature of the ship was that it had a really nice jogging/walking track that was protected from the elements. Located on deck 7, the jogging track was extremely wide and was covered by the lifeboats above. Because of this, it was shaded and you did not have to worry about the gusts of wind that you have to deal with when you use the jogging track on the Fascination. Spanning the entire deck 7 from the bow to stern, it was a nice place to do your daily walking and/or jogging.

Disco

The disco was great- The volume was perfect and you didn?t need earplugs like you do on Carnival. In fact, the disco was packed with people , many our age. On Carnival, we can?t even go in the disco, it?s too loud, and there are neve r people in our age category there dancing. So, this was a nice change of pace. We had a great time and loved the ?Village People? performance by the staff.

Shore Excursions

Coco Cay was a nice change of pace. We enjoyed the day but the food, the ribs and the hot dogs were cold and didn?t taste very fresh. The last tender was at 4:30 but at 2:15, all the food was removed and you could only get some water after that. What really bothered us was that on Sunday, we went to Nassau, but half the shops were closed on Sunday. We had decided to go to the Pirate Museum and walked there in the heat to find out that on Sunday it closes at 1:00. We had just missed it. I feel that RC should have let us know about this. Only the straw market and a few souvenir shops were open so we decided to take horse and buggy rides, Wayne and I in one and the kids in another , following us. That was fun and the driver gave us a guided tour which was very interesting. My question is - why wouldn?t RC do Coco Cay on Sunday and Nassau on Saturday when everything is open? Doesn?t make sense to me.

Debarkation

This was so smooth. We did the early self assist and were able to disembark at 7:15. We were off the ship in minutes. We did, though, have to drag our stuff down 2 flights of stairs, as this ship had very slow elevators that you waited forever for.

Conclusion

I?m very glad that we decided to try RC. There were a few features of this ship that we enjoyed. However, we do feel that you get much more for the money with Carnival. We will , though, try other RC ships in the future but we don?t feel that the Majesty, in any way, compares to the Fascination as far as the food or the entertainment.

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