Saturday, July 12, 2014

Majesty of the Seas Anniversary Cruise

Majesty of the Seas

If we knew then what we know now, we wouldn’t have gotten married on July 4th weekend. It seemed like a good idea at the time since we’d met in July and the holiday gave our wedding guests an extra travel day. But every year no matter where we go for our anniversary, it’s hot and crowded and more expensive. So to anyone out there planning a wedding, listen up. Do what we should have done and get married in April! :-)  Fortunately, after some searching we found a reasonable deal on the Majesty of the Seas. It left on July 4th and would be in Nassau on our anniversary. Perfect, especially since our first trip to Nassau was on our honeymoon cruise.

Traffic was light all the way to Miami so we were at the port at 11:30 and onboard by noon. It didn’t take long to find our way around the ship since we’d been on Monarch of the Seas, Majesty’s sister ship, three times. The ships were almost identical but there were a few differences. For one thing, Majesty had two additional casual dining spots - Compass Deli and Johnny Rockets. Johnny Rockets was a 50’s style diner with a $5.95 cover charge. Compass Deli was free and served fresh paninis, wraps and crepes. I was definitely looking forward to trying the crepes!

Another difference was that the Majesty seemed to attract a more international crowd than Monarch. It took 15 minutes to make the muster drill announcement because they repeated it in English, Spanish, German, Italian, French and at least one other language that I didn’t recognize. I noticed that the crew was really good about greeting people in the right language. How did they do that?

We enjoyed a relaxing afternoon, lunching at the Windjammer buffet and hanging out by the pool bar. As the day went on, a big storm cloud started forming over Miami. Just as we were leaving port at 4:30, the cloud grew and started stretching its long fingers out towards us, but we sailed on ahead of it and avoided the rain. All along the channel, people on boats, in the parks and on the jetty waved to us and we waved back. There is something special about a ship setting sail. Even when we’re not on a cruise, I love to watch ships leave port.

Majesty of the Seas pool bar

Still into you

Fisher Island ferry

Miami Beach

Caribbean band

Schooner Bar
Schooner Bar decorated for July 4th

After we cleared the jetty and headed out into the open ocean, Ron and I went to our cabin to get ready for dinner. We had an oceanview cabin on Deck 3. Just like on Monarch, the cabin was teeny, tiny but it was fine for a 3-night cruise. Out our porthole, we could see the Carnival Ecstasy sailing along next to us, on its way to Nassau. Suddenly a pod of dolphins started jumping and playing in front of Ecstasy’s bow! We watched the dolphins for a good 10 minutes until they got tired and swam away. That was just too cool.

At dinner that night, we were seated at a table for two in the Starlight Dining Room. On Royal Caribbean, each night’s menu has the name of a different spice or flavor – Basil, Jasmine, Pimiento. On our last few cruises, the menu on the first night was Mojo. But on Majesty, it was the Pomodoro menu, which they didn’t have on our 3-night Monarch or Enchantment cruises. It was nice trying out some different menu items. I had the Pan-seared Scallops and Chorizo, the Rosemary Lamb Shank and the Williams Pear Chocolate Crisp. The scallops were tiny but the lamb was very tender and flavorful. After dinner, we went to the Welcome Aboard show, which featured comedian Steve Smith. He was really funny, especially his bit about weather. He said that he was originally from Seattle but he’d lived for a while in Los Angeles where it rains one day a year. The TV stations have stories with names like “Rain 2014!” And there’s always a weatherman standing outside saying, “It seems to be coming from up there somewhere. Back to you, Jeff.” I’ve seen some tropical storm footage that went pretty much like that. :-)

William pear chocolate crisp

Majesty of the Seas Centrum

Majesty of the Seas theater
A Chorus Line Theater

Before heading to the cabin for bed, we took a stroll around the Promenade deck. We were still close to Florida and up and down the coastline we could see flashing lights – fireworks!

Coco Cay

I had every intention of sleeping in late, but I woke up at 6 o’clock to light coming in through the window. I reached up to close the curtains and saw the most beautiful sunrise. I couldn’t stay in bed and miss it, so I pulled on some clothes and went out to the pool deck to watch. There were a lot of other people already on deck with their coffee, enjoying the moment. It would have been nice to sleep in but since I was already awake, I used the opportunity to take some pictures of the pool while no one was it in.


sunrise and lamp post

Viking Crown Lounge

Majesty of the Seas pool deck

Around 9 o’clock, we tendered over to Coco Cay and found some shaded lounge chairs in what was becoming “our usual spot” on Water Sports Beach. We really liked that area because it was close enough to snorkeling and lunch but far away enough from the crowds. Plus there was a bar right behind our chairs so Ron didn’t have to travel far for a beer. We’d brought our snorkel gear but Ron said he didn’t really feel like swimming all the way out to the good snorkeling sites. I had to admit that I wasn’t feeling very energetic myself, so we just spent the day lounging on our chairs.

Coco Cay

Water Sports Beach

Susan at Coco Cay

Coco Cay straw market

Majesty of the Seas

When we got back on the ship around 3, we went straight to the Compass Deli. I’d been careful not to eat too much lunch on the island so I’d have plenty of room for crepes. They did not disappoint. :-)  We ordered a chocolate mousse crepe and a cherry and kirsch cream crepe. Yum yum yum! There was dancing and a belly flop contest going on by the pool, but Ron and I were both having trouble keeping our eyes open so we headed down to the cabin to nap until dinnertime.

Compass Deli
Compass Deli

chocolate mousse crepe

cherry and Kirsch cream crepe

After dinner (Saffron menu, not my favorite), we spent a little time in the casino. There were two $10 Black Jack tables – one where everyone looked unhappy and one with a smoker. Jenny always told me to look for tables with happy people so I decided to take my chances at the smoking table. Ron took the unhappy table. We both ended up breaking even and I picked up another $1 souvenir chip. I like that Royal Caribbean has different chips for each ship. My cruise chip collection is growing.  :-)

We were tired but it was too early for bed. There was only one place that I knew would wake us up – the piano bar! Ron and I love a good piano bar entertainer but the ones on our last few ships have been duds. The singer on Majesty, Joe Hollywood, was excellent. He had a lot of energy and sang all kinds of music. At first, people seemed hesitant to sit around the piano but soon there was a whole crowd singing along and playing the Holler and Swaller game (everyone yells “Woooo” and then takes a swig of their drink). Before we knew it, it was 11:30 and I had to drag Ron out of the bar or we would have been there all night.


We slept till after 7 and woke up just as the ship was passing the lighthouse and turning into Nassau Harbor. Ron said, “Our second home”. It was starting to feel that way. :-)

Welcome to Nassau!

Nassau conch shells

After breakfast in the Windjammer, we headed off the ship. Our plan for the day was to get day passes at Breezes, an all-inclusive hotel on Cable Beach. We wanted to check it out for a possible future weekend trip. It took a while to get checked in at the front desk because there was a big high school graduation group trying to check out, but eventually we got our wristbands and were good to go. There were lots of lounge chairs on the beach but all the shaded palapas were reserved, so we set up shop under an umbrella by the pool. The resort wasn’t fancy but it was very colorful and friendly. There were lots of activities too – games by the pool, a rock climbing wall and even a trapeze.  We weren’t up for trapeze-ing but we did take the Hobie Cat out for a spin. The sun was shining and the water was Bahamas blue. I couldn’t think of a nicer way to spend our anniversary. It just went by too fast!

Breezes Nassau

Breezes pool

Cable Beach

Cable Beach

Breezes sailboats


Ron in Breezes pool

Nassau lighthouse

Paradise Island

leaving Nassau

That night we had special dinner plans. Although Majesty doesn’t have any specialty restaurants, they have recently started two new dining experiences – the Chef’s Table and the Taste of Tuscany. I thought the Chef’s Table might be too artsy, but the Taste of Tuscany was right up my alley. The dinner was at 7:30 in the Compass Deli and included a 4-course meal, unlimited wine, plus a presentation on pasta-making by one of the sous chefs. (Click here to view the Taste of Tuscany menu.)

When we got to the deli, there were several tables set up but we were the only ones there. One other couple was supposed to be coming so we sampled the wine and bread while we waited for them. Finally, the waiters decided that the other couple was a no-show and said they were going to go ahead and start the demonstration. Then Ron said, “I feel bad. You don’t have to do all that just for us.” Yuh huh! I wanted to see how they make pasta! :-) So we ended up with our own private class. First the sous chef, Hari, told us a little bit about the history of pasta and then showed us how to mix dough, roll it and cut it with a pasta machine. Then the food came out – crostini with several different toppings, Caprese salad, and for my entrée I had the Pappardelle Mantecate (wide ribbon pasta with mushroom sauce). It was all delicious. We shared the tiramisu for dessert, which came with a shot glass of Kahlua and Baileys. And just when we thought we couldn’t eat one more bite, the waiters came out with a candle-lit chocolate sundae from Johnny Rockets and sang the “Happy Birsary” song for us. When we finally waddled out of the restaurant, we headed to the Schooner Bar for a few more piano tunes before bed. What a great day!

Susan and Hari

pasta making demonstration


Earlier that afternoon, we’d opened the anniversary cards we’d brought with us. Judi gave us the sweetest card which said, “Hope you’ve blocked off a little time to share, just the two of you, with no work and responsibilities, just room for lots of laughter and happy reminiscing.” I think that described the weekend perfectly.

Happy Birsary, Ron!  Here’s to many, many more.

embarkation photo

Susan’s Favorites: the day at Breezes, crepes at the Compass Deli
Ron’s Favorites: singing at the piano bar


  1. Another beautiful and colorful (and tasty) vacation! Happy Anniversary! The piano bar sounds like a blast - Holler!

  2. Thanks for your wonderful review. We will be on the enchantment of the seas in October and will be stopping at the same ports. I love the conch shell souvenir. Where did you get it? Thanks for blogging.

    1. Thank you, Deb! We were on Enchantment of the Seas last year. You will love it. The conch shells were right at the cruise terminal (Festival Place) in Nassau. They are doing some major repairs on the terminal now so the booths might be set up outside when you are there. Have a wonderful cruise!