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Majesty out of Charleston Anyone?

Discussion in 'Norwegian Cruise Lines' started by DJP, Nov 24, 2003.

  1. DJP

    DJP Guest

    Less than four weeks and my husband and I will be on the NCL Majesty for the Christmas holiday sailing. Since the Majesty just started this 7-day Western Caribbean itinerary out of Charleston in November, I was wondering if someone has already been on it and could offer any insights? Thanks in advance.
  2. bpear1600

    bpear1600 Guest

    We were on the first cruise from Charleston and embarkation took until 8 PM with the ship sailing around 10. Debarkation on 11/15 wasn't as bad but not as good as Miami.

    The food was excellent for the most part and the entertainment was terrific. Shows were on a smaller scale, of course, but the singers and dancers were as good as I've seen on any ship. We had a suite on the 9th deck which was clean but well worn.

    There were problems and we understand these are ongoing. We had no air conditioning in our room for 20 hours over a three day period and this was sporadic throughout the ship including the public rooms. You start every day with rust colored water in your bathroom but it usually clears up in an hour or two. The casino and a couple of minor lounges are intolerable due to cigarette smoke which drifts out of these areas into shops and hallways. I've never been on a ship that ventilates smoke so poorly. We are non-smokers but a lot of smokers felt the same way.

    This is a small ship and with 1462 passengers on board is crowded. Freestyle dining=lines at all times. We stayed on the ship in all three ports in order to enjoy the ship without all the people. The ports are no big deal anyway and by the time they let you off you don't have a whole lot of time to do much. We docked in Key West at 3PM but every single person on the ship had to clear immigration before anyone was allowed to go ashore. This procedure took 90 minutes which we understand was fast for almost 1500 people. You had to be back on the ship by 9:30PM. Why go ashore and miss the Captain's Farewell Dinner and the outstanding show that followed?

    We made the most of the cruise but we'll never sail on this ship again and we'll think twice before sailing from Charleston which is less than 90 minutes from our home.
  3. DJP

    DJP Guest

    Thanks for responding and I appreciate the details. We are a 4-hour drive from Charleston and that is why we selected this cruise instead of having to drive to Florida as we did last Christmas for a RCCL cruise (9 hours). This will be our 7th cruise (4th on NCL) and the first time experiencing Freestyle. You mentioned lines for dinner all the time.....did you try different times? We prefer eating after 8:30 or 9pm and were hoping the majority of the other passengers would eat earlier. We have been to Grand Cayman and Cozumel many times and have favorite things we like to do there, but we found our one time in Key West was probably enough and plan to stay on board there. Thanks again and Happy Thanksgiving!
  4. bpear1600

    bpear1600 Guest

    We were told the busiest time for dining is between 7 and 8:30PM. We ate early between 5:30 and 6:30 and had lines every night, the later the longer. You should be fine dining later but you may have a tough time making the late show.

    Go and have a great time. You've cruised before so you know there's no such thing as perfection in the travel business. This was our 16th cruise and 10th on NCL and we have only cruised twice since 93.
  5. tim.medley

    tim.medley Guest

    We are leaving tommorrow (11/29/03) on the Majesty out of Charleston, SC. We have a group of 15 people going, only 3 of which have cruised before. Sailing out of Charleston really appeals to us on this cruise, since a drive to Florida with my in-laws would be difficult. We live in Charlotte, NC and Charleston, SC is only 3 and 1/2 hours drive.

    This is our 9th cruise, the 5th with NCL. We have experienced freestyle dining 3 times now and so far I have enjoyed it very much.

    I am disturbed by the earlier post about the long embarkation process. Granted Charleston is a new port for NCL to sail from and I do expect there to be some bugs to work out.

    How early have people been able to board the ship? Our tickets say after 1:00pm, but we are going to try and board earlier.

    I am hoping that the air conditioning and ventilation systems have been fixed. Smokey lounges are really no fun. I am a firm believer that smoking should be banned from inside the ship; lounges, staterooms, casino, etc. But I am a non-smoker and am somewhat biased.

    My biggest concern is that we have booked an excursion with a private tour company in Grand Cayman, and I hope that we can get off the ship in time to make our excursion which starts at 10:00am.

    I'll post about our experience once we get back. I am looking forward to a relaxing vacation and unless the ship sinks, I'll have a good time.

    Tim Medley
  6. bpear1600

    bpear1600 Guest

    Tim: Embarkation on the 11/8 cruise was horrific but we understand there were no problems the next week.
    If embarkation is scheduled for 1PM the port will not open until that time. If you arrive early you will have to park on the street or keep driving around the block until the gate opens.
    Good luck to you and have a great time.
  7. DJP

    DJP Guest

    We live just west of Asheville, NC, but decided to drive to Charleston (4.5 hours) on Friday (12/19) after work instead of waiting until Saturday morning. Thanks for the tip about the port not opening until embarkation starts because we can stay in our hotel until noon and then a quick shopping foray into downtown Charleston before we leave sounds appropriate. What a wonderful city it is.....was just there for a conference and am looking forward to being there again. Anyone who hasn't been to Charleston before is really missing a great historic town with wonderful cuisine.
  8. tfencer

    tfencer Guest


    How was your cruise? We are scheduled for the 2/28/04 sailing with 20 people. What exactly is the line problem at the restaurants? I have free-styled before and not had a problem.
  9. tyou48

    tyou48 Guest

    i hope the ship's problems were corrected before your cruise.

    please respond to let us know what to expect.

    we are on the 12.27.03 out of charleston.

  10. terry

    terry Guest

    we just got back from this cruise out of charleston and it was wonderful...there were 14 of us...i have cruised 10 times before..no lines for eating,,boarded the ship at 12:30 pm..to a wonderful buffet....everything was perfect except the water was rough...we had a very bumpy ride...

    any questions i will be glad to answer...terry
  11. DJP

    DJP Guest

    Terry: Glad you had a great time, but sorry you had a bumpy ride. What category stateroom did you have? We have DD Superior Outside on the Biscayne Deck. Some descriptions say there is a refrigerator, but others don't. Did you or anyone in your party have a fridge? What time did you usually go for dinner that you avoided lines? Is there a Latitudes check-in desk? Less than two weeks and counting.....

  12. tim.medley

    tim.medley Guest

    Our sailing on 11/29 on the Majesty was a success.

    Embarkation went pretty smoothly. We took our time and arrived around 2pm. We were on the ship by 3pm. The line looked long, but moved at a decent pace.

    Our group was a total of 7 cabins, 13 people. 6 of the seven cabins were guaranteed J, the other cabin was an assigned catefory I. We had a nice surprise when we got on board, 4 of the Category J cabins were actually upgraded to Outside cabins, not sure of the category. All of the outside rooms had refridgerators.

    The ship left port around 6:30pm or so. Not as bad as the earlier cruises from Charleston, but still not on time.

    The ship is small, by todays standards, and although the weather was mild, the sailing was a bit rough. Leaving Cozumel and heading to Key West was rough. a few bottles of liquer fell over and smashed on the floor in one of the shops. And barf bags were issued.

    The first day we were delayed slighty, a rope had wrapped itself around the propeller. They stopped the ship for an hour or so and some divers went down and removed the rope. It was really neat to see. Although we were delayed a couple of hours, they managed to make up the time and get us to Grand Cayman on time.

    Grand Cayman and Cozumel were great. Key west on the other hand was a waste of time. The ship docked at 3:00pm on schedule. But we didn't actually get off the ship until 5:30pm!!! Part of this was due to the some passengers not paying attention, being prepared etc and the other part was the cruise line/ships fault. We were supposed to dock at the main pier, but an RCCL ship was still in port so we parked at the Navy pier and had to have shuttle's take people from the navy pier to downtown. It took forever.

    By the time we were shuttled downtown, most of the attractions were closed; hemming way house, maritime museum, etc. All of the bars were open, fortunately.

    Freestlye Dining is still good. We ate together as a group of 12 4 out of 6 nights. We never waited for a table in either the Four Seasons or the Seven Seas Dining rooms. The only night we booked a reservation was on formal night, and we reserved a table for 6pm in the Four Seasons. We really didn't need the reservation after all, since the dining room was quite empty.

    I don't remember really seeing any lines for food anywhere. And there were several groups larger than ours onboard.

    There's a few points I could rant and rave on but I'll save them for a full review I'll post when I get some time.

    Over all 11 out of 13 of our group had a great time, the other two had an ok time.

  13. tyou48

    tyou48 Guest

    what were the ages of your group? Were there problems with the AC or water?

    Thanks for the info.
  14. AM

    AM Guest

    Hi DJP,
    Myself and family will be on this same cruise. I hope we all have a blast!
    Merry Christmas,
  15. DJP

    DJP Guest

    I hope we do, too! Where are you coming from? We are in western North Carolina and are driving to Charleston Friday evening (4.5 hours). Right now we are under a winter storm warning with up to 3-6" of snow! Hope we don't have any trouble leaving the area.....we are originally from the North and used to driving on snow. It will be great being in the Caribbean in a few days!
  16. AM

    AM Guest

    We are leaving Saturday morning. We are near Charlotte. We have never, ever spent Christmas away from home so this will be a first. It is our 25th wedding anniversary so that makes it extra special.
  17. DJP

    DJP Guest

    The first time we didn't spend Christmas with one or the other of our families, it was to take a cruise and we thoroughly enjoyed it. The ship was all decorated for the holidays and it was very festive. Since then, we have cruised several times more during Christmas on other cruise lines and found the same festive atmosphere. Usually they sing Christmas carols around a grand piano in the main lobby and/or staircase and we have noticed families opening gifts in front of one of the decorated trees. I hope you have a wonderful time and we'll have to compare notes when we return.
  18. scoobydoo

    scoobydoo Guest

    We were on the Majesty out of Charleston 12/13. I'm surprised to see that we are the only ones who were REALLY disappointed! Maybe I'm spoiled. I've been on lots of cruises in the past and they have ALL been nicer than this one. Even the ones on Carnival! I was on the Norway several years back and that was nice, so I assumed this one would be too.......

    I don't even know where to begin to complain. The boat seemed like it was falling apart to us. "Refurbished" must have meant "stuck together with duct tape". Because it literally was!!! Things were broken all over the boat. Clocks missing from walls. Wall panels coming loose, drink dispensers out of order....... We were in an outside stateroom on deck 3 and our windows were so dirty we could barely see outside! Our water was brown nearly the whole week. And the bathroom smelled! Our room steward was very nice and attentive, thank goodness, but it just wasn't what we expected from Norwegian.

    The food was mediocre at best. Some nights we didn't even eat what we were served. The food at the buffet on deck 10 was HORRIBLE! The desserts were terrible. Except for the oatmeal raisin cookies! (which I ate many of) The service was slow in the dining rooms (much slower in the bigger one though) and you had to get there RIGHT at 5:30 if you didn't want to wait in line forever. We had two small children with us, so really had to eat early.

    The kids programs were ok. The kids were happy enough, but we were not thrilled. Basically they just sat around and watched tv......... When we went to pick up our 6 yr old they were watching a PG rated movie!

    One of my main concerns about the trip was that I would have a chance to run (I am a fitness instructor) either outside on deck or on a treadmill 3 or 4 days during the week. Unfortunately, the weather was pretty bad, and there were only 3 treadmills! And not very good ones at that.

    I think I have run out of things to complain about for now...... hope I don't scare anyone. But, if you haven't already booked this cruise, I would recommend finding another one! We chose this one b/c of the convenience (as I"m sure most of you did). We drove 4 hours and it was much easier and cheaper than flying to Florida like we usually do.

    Was anyone else on the 12/13 cruise? Curious about what you thought.....
  19. bpear1600

    bpear1600 Guest

    There's no question it was a disappointment to us too. It's just a waste of time going on a ho-hum ship like this unless it's all you can afford. You get what you pay for!

    Our next cruise will be 1/18 on RCCL's Mariner of the Seas. I'm sure we'll like the ship a whole lot better but if we don't enjoy the cruise we'll probably move up to Radisson, Oceania or Crystal and, if we don't like that, we just don't like cruising anymore.

    We've been on 16 cruises since 1980 including seven on the Norway. There lies the problem. We've never found anything that compares to the Norway in the early 80's.
  20. DJP

    DJP Guest

    I can't believe we are talking about the same ship! We just got back from the 12/20 cruise on the Majesty and I just read your comments and am shocked. This was our 7th cruise and 4th on NCL. If you read my review I posted yesterday, you'll notice we were not pleased with the dining room service, but would definitely take this cruise again.

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