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New to Cruising some questions

Hey there.. Im new to cruising and have a few questions. I am planning on a cruise 4/19/12-4/23/12 from Miami to Nassau to CocoCay to Key West and back to Miami. So here are my questions:

How much should I expect to pay for parking in Miami?
How much should I expect to spend on the ship for moderate meals and drinks?
The cruise is on the Majesty of the Seas... How is this ship?
Any excursions that I should definitely take or things to see at each port of call?
Anything else I should know about for a first time cruiser?

Thanks for the help in advance.:biggrin:


Well-Known Member
1) Cost of parking at Miami - I don't know (I fly there).

2) Cost of meals and drinks on the ship - zero. There might be a specialty restaurant on board (I have not been on the Majesty of the Seas). If so, the specialty restaurant cost extra, but is completely optional. Milk, tap water, regular coffee and juice are all free. Soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, bottled water and specialty coffee cost extra.

3) I have not been on the ship. I was on the Monarch which is very similar to the Majesty (they are sisters) and the Monarch seemed fine to me. However, that was in December 2008.

4) As to Nassau, my only recommendation is don't go to Pearl Island. There is very little to do and you are stuck on the island which doesn't even have any fresh running water (if you are thirsty you have to buy bottled water). As far as I was concerned, the best part of that excursion was the boat ride to and from the island.

5) Are you aware you will be expected to tip the people who serve you?
If you drink a good bit of soda, they have soda packages you can purchase where you pay one set price and it gives you as much soda as you want the whole trip. As for the alcohol...it depends on what drinks you are ordering. The price is comparable to going to a local bar in my area. Every purchase you make on the ship gets swiped on your room key. You can either register a credit/debit card for your purchases or you can have a cash account and pay it out at the end. You can track your purchases on the t.v. in your room if you want to keep tabs on how you are doing.

I'm going to these same two ports next week. When I get back I can give you my opinion of the positives and negatives. You are going to absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE cruising. It is the start of an addiction I tell you!
As previous poster said, all meals are free unless you go to a "specialty" restaurant. Even room service is free! If you eat in the main dining room, you can have as many helpings of whatever it is that you want at no extra charge. More than one lobster tail, double dessert, you name it...it's yours! If you board early, it gives you time to roam the ship and get acquainted with it. They will even provide beach towels so you don't need to pack your own. You just have to return them when done. Hmmm...what else can I think of??? You will get a newletter each evening that goes over the next days port and ship activities. That is very helpful. There are opportunities for pictures on the formal nights. They will take several different poses and you can look them over in the photo area of the ship and purchase whatever ones you like. If you are a picture person this can add up! Take it from me, I know.

If I remember any other tidbits I will re-post.
I don't drink too much soda.. mostly sweet tea, Im your typical georgia boy lol and the fiance is the same. But I do like to drink moderately, usually 1-2 beers with dinner.
I don't know what the official status of the tea is...if it is a "free" beverage, but my fiance and I asked for iced-t with our dinner every night in the main dining room and we were not charged for it. Other then that, we had juice or coffee which was free and of course, mixed drinks occasionally.


Well-Known Member
I don't know what the official status of the tea is...if it is a "free" beverage, but my fiance and I asked for iced-t with our dinner every night in the main dining room and we were not charged for it. Other then that, we had juice or coffee which was free and of course, mixed drinks occasionally.
Tea, including ice tea is free.
Well, I'm back from my trip with a little info for you. The advice I'm giving is strictly my opinion and of course things could be different by the time you go on your trip. We snorkeled in Nassau and Coco Cay. I enjoyed Coco Cay much more to my surprise because I had read tons of reviews saying it should have been the other way around. I used all of my underwater camera film at the first spot and missed out on way better pics I could have gotten at Coco Cay. We arrived in Nassau later then we were supposed to so we could only snorkel and by the time we got back all the shops were closed. They close around 5 or 6, so if you want to browse or sightsee...you have to do it before that time. I was disappointed. We went back to the ship and got changed and asked a cab driver to take us to an authentic caribbean restaurant for dinner. He took us to a place called Twin Brothers. We were not impressed with our food, but again, it got pretty good reviews online so maybe it was just not our night. We ordered Bahamian Baked Chicken and to our surprise it was plain, unseasoned baked chicken. The mac & cheese was made with lasagna noodles and was dried out. They had the best coconut daquiries though.

Everyone on our trip that we spoke to all truly enjoyed coco cay the best. You could do just about anything you wanted there. Tons of water activities or rest in the shade. The picnic they provided was sooooo good. The best grilled hot dogs and mac & cheese there. They provided too much to really list. Everyone agreed that we would have rather spent more time there to be honest.

Maybe if we would have arrived in Nassau earlier we would have enjoyed it better. We just didn't get the time to really experience it like we should have.
one tip i have for a first time cruiser is when you first get into your cabin unless you want to pay for it do not drink the everage in the mini fridge they are not free