A great deal on an older ship....
Norwegian Majesty Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western
Review SummaryWe booked the 2/27/07 cruise (out of Charleston, SC) and drove down the night before. We stayed at the Springhill Suites by Marriott on Ripley Pointe Drive, where we got a room on Marriott points. They offered free parking in their garage for the week of the cruise, and also free shuttle to and from the cruise port. this saved over $100, the fee for parking at the port for the week.
On board the Majesty (this was my 5th cruise and my wife's 3rd) we found our cabin satisfactory (they had upgraded us to a more centrally located cabin, but in the "upgrade" we ended up with a restricted view - the side of a lifeboat! - didn't bother me, but did bother my wife!). The ship was fully booked, so we were not able to move from that cabin.
Food service in the restaurants was good... portions were small, but you could order as many as you wanted. The "Freestyle DIning" plan worked well for us, and we did spring for the extra $30 to go to the upscale "Le Bistro" restaurant... good, but not overwelmingly so. Le Bistro's menu is the same every day. It changes a couple times a year, but that's it.
We never did eat in the Mangia Mangia Italian restaurant, which was "reservations required" but no upcharge... the menu never had anything listed that looked better than what was on the standard menu.
Our meals in the "Seven Seas" and the "Four Seasons" - the standard dining rooms - were all good. Never more than a ten minute wait, and we always requested dining alone rather than sharing a table.
Casual dining on the upper deck was more spotty. The Buffet just needs to be shut down. It was terrible. The 24 hour cookout on the aft of deck 10 was good for what it was... burgers and dogs, and pizza. Not quite Pizza Hut, but passable at 3AM after too many beers. Beers, by the way, are $5-6 each, and mixed drinks in the $6-10. range, plus mandatory 10% tip added in. On the final day, I saw quite a few people looking over their bills like "did we really drink $1000 worth of beer this week?". My bill was fairly conservative at $500, with $140 of that as the $10/day/person service charge (tips), and some spa stuff for my wife. But if you're a drinker, beware... and they really have you covered on bringing your own hootch aboard.... every bag gets x-rayed (thanks to 9-11) and any holding liquids of any quantity go to a "holding room" for you to retrieve personally, where, upon inspection, any alcohol is "stored for you" (read "confiscated") until the end of the cruise. I saw one guy who had pre-filled 2-liter cokes with rum and coke mixture, and another with a half-gallon sized "mouthwash" that didn't get through.
Back to the food. On the pool deck (10) were 2 made-to-order stations - omelettes in the AM, sandwiches at lunch, and a carving station and pasta bar at night... these were good, and very popular. Room service was very limited to sandwiches and breakfast items.
Entertainment pretty much sucked, but it usually does on smaller ships (and this one is - 1300 passengers max). The theatrical group was high-school quality, the bingo was a ripoff ($50 for an automatic bingo machine playing 70+ cards at once, payoff (with 50 or so people playing? $140!!!!) A real moneymaker for the ship - $2500 in revenue, and $150 per game (3 games) paid out - a cool $2G profit per bingo session!.
The pool band was pretty good, but by day 3, you]ve heard it all 5 times over and all the songs start to sound the same. This is a common complaint... they really should rotate acts around the ship!
All in all, we had a great time, and I had lots of time to lay in the sun (our weather was beautiful - all but the first 1/2 day and the last 1/2 day were mid -80's). Ports of call (Georgetown, Grand Caymen; Cozumel; Key west) were as expected... touristy... we didn't do any planned excursions, choosing to "make our own way... went to 7-Mile beach on GCI, and to a nice private hotel beach on Cozumel, and then just people-watched in KW.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Pros: Price, flexible dining schedule
Cons: add-on costs, port parking, amatuerish entertainment.