Nov 30, 2018

Part Two: Havana daydreamin’ on the Majesty of the Seas

A day at sea and Key West

Following a fun-filled first day and night aboard the Majesty of the Seas, Punky and I were prepared to slow things down with a relaxing day at sea before our first port of call in Key West.  

We began the day, as well as every subsequent morning, with the breakfast buffet at the Windjammer Cafe on Deck 11.  The Windjammer also served as our usual lunch spot for other days we spent on the ship. 

The Windjammer Café always provided plenty of viewpoints – whether forward-facing, port or starboard, of the sea.  Unfortunately, empty seats seemed to be few and far between.  Perhaps it was the lack of other dining options, or maybe our timing just wasn’t that good.  The food was serviceable overall, albeit mostly on the bland side.  I guess you have to cater to the masses.  I was also surprised by the lack of more daring menu items offered, the Caribbean-themed final night being a notable exception. (Bring on the oxtail stew, Jamaican escovitch fish and jerk chicken!)  Still, I was always happy to get my share of smoked salmon and corned beef at breakfast. 

With our bellies full, it was time to explore the rest of Deck 11, which is the hub of all outdoor-related activity on the ship.  This view from Deck 12 give you an idea of the size of the pool area for those young and old, anchored by bars on each end.  In addition to the pool and children’s waterpark, the deck also features four whirlpools, a small basketball court and even a self-serve ice cream dispenser.  Surprisingly, for one of the older ships in Royal Caribbean’s fleet, Majesty of the Seas still seems large enough to accommodate the recreational needs of all onboard.  We spent considerable time on Deck 11 people watching to the rhythm of the ocean and the refreshing taste of pina coladas.        

After so long surrounded by people, though, Punky and I retreated to Deck 12, the highest deck on the ship (except for the Viking Crown Lounge on Deck 13 reserved for loyalty program members), for some solitude to go along with our sun.  We resisted the urge to try the rock-climbing wall behind us.      

Between lounging and napping, the day flew by, and then it was on to the one “formal” night of dining scheduled on the cruise.  Of course, traditional cruise dining is a lot less stuffy than it used to be, with “smart casual” being the norm these days.  Still, Punky was quite pleased to have a reason to wear the floral dress she picked out just for the occasion.       

After dinner, we returned to our cabin and were greeted by this cool little fellow on the bed with tomorrow’s itinerary and recommendations while in port.  This is apparently what happens when you leave your sunglasses laying around.  Not only was our steward very attentive, but he also had a good sense of humor.

Knowing a full day in the Conch Republic was ahead of us, with disembarkation scheduled for 8:30 a.m., we ended our second night on the ship relatively early. 

We were rewarded with some pretty spectacular views from the Windjammer Café during breakfast of our approach into Key West, including one of Sunset Key which is accessible only by boat …

… the harbor where we docked …

… and a nice view of the Margaritaville Resort and Mallory Square beyond it.  
I think it’s safe to say we made the most of the few hours we had to explore Key West.  I had been before, but I wanted to show Punky what I considered the essential spots for a first-timer to see, which I’ll go into greater detail about in future blog posts.   

And given the timing of our departure, I had also hoped Punky would be able to enjoy one of those spectacular Key West sunsets I told her about.  We had to leave Mallory Square a little too soon, however, so we had to settle for some pre-sunset views of the boats jockeying for position.

And being able to enjoy the sunset in the middle of the ocean somewhere between Key West and Havana, Cuba, was a pretty good consolation prize.

Next morning, Havana!!

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