Yes, indeed, she's been revitalized, refurbished, redone all over and it certainly shows.
As soon as we boarded the ship on Deck 4, we noticed a much brighter, newer look to the atrium area. The elevator, up to the Windjammer Café on deck 11, had new paneling and brighter lighting. The café, now called the Windjammer Marketplace, features Asian, Latin, Mediterranean and American menus.
Chatting with a floor supervisor, we learned that the extreme makeover had taken 28 days by a couple of thousand workers, mostly from Europe, working at the Grand Bahama Shipyard in Freeport, at a cost of $40 million. We thought that was impressive when you think of how long it takes and how much it costs to build a new ship from scratch.
The bow-to-stern makeover involved cabins, suites, the Windjammer (buffet) area, both main dining rooms, spa and fitness center, youth area, conference rooms, pool deck, theater and casino.
Some specific additions and changes:
. Compass Deli, which features a sandwich bar, soups, made-to-order salads, crepes, pannini and energy drinks.
. Johnny Rockets, a 1950s diner with jive singing and dancing servers. Here the traditional hamburger, milkshake, French fries and onion rings reign supreme.
. Sorrento's pizzeria, which serves various delectable pizza all day and well into the night.
. Café Latte-tudes, which serves Seattle's Best coffee drinks.
. Freeze, an ice cream parlor that dispenses favorite flavors.
. The two renamed main dining rooms sport new upholstery, plush carpets, wall décor and window draperies.
In all, we found that the food was excellent and the presentation and service were well beyond expectations.
The expanded Day Spa and Shipshape Fitness Center, relocated a deck lower, featured 10 new treatment rooms, a relaxation area, beauty salon, manicure and pedicure stations, and a teeth whitening room.
There were new stationary bikes and a new aerobics floor in the fitness center.
The new theater production show features the music of Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Tina Turner and others. The dancers, singers and live musicians provided a high-energy, thoroughly enjoyable performance.
The Schooner piano bar area is upgraded with new upholstery on the chairs, carpeting and window treatments. This was our favorite pre-dinner cocktail spot. The service was great as were the drinks.
The Boleros Latin Bar and dance floor, with its live Latin band, was packed after the show, with rhythmic dancers doing the salsa, meringue, pachanga, cumbia, etc. Latin specialty drinks such as the mojito, caipirinha and others flow freely.
All guest cabins and suites were refurbished. The hall carpeting looked bright and fresh.
The enhanced fleet-wide bedding program continued on the Majesty with new mattress frames, 9-inch thick spring mattresses, pillows, sheets and comforters. All of this makes for a terrific nights' sleep. This improvement alone was worth the price of the cruise.
Other improvements included: wall-mounted, flat screen TVs, a new conference center with comfortable seating and audio/visual facilities, Wi-Fi access in staterooms, upgrades in the casino area and more.
The refurbished Majesty of the Seas sails out of Miami on three- and four-night cruises to Nassau, CocoCay (Royal Caribbean's private island), and Key West and would be a great experience for anyone wanting a short cruise. We would especially recommend this ship for first-time cruisers because they'd certainly be impressed enough to want to become repeat cruisers.
Eric and Rose Mascarenhas are travel consultants with Gadabout Travel in Sebastian. Call (772) 589-0633. Gadabout Travel also has an office in Melbourne. Call (321) 253-3674.