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Hopefully I will be able to answer questions with my mini review. This was a short get away to introduce grandson (5yrs) to cruising. We chose the Sovereign as we had sailed on her three times (twice as 7 day cruises, and once as a three day cruise). The Sovereign still retains the charm she has always displayed but you can tell it is in definate need of refurbishment. It was little things like the bathroom floor tile was not cemented down and we had to keep placing it back where it belongs. Also desk drawer fell apart when we opened it. Now these problems did not keep us from enjoying our cruise they were disappointments. Also beware of toilets, some you have to pull up on handle and others you had to push down to get toilets to flush. Kept us guessing. There was also a sewage smell in certain areas...never seemed to be the same place but it was very localized and didn't create a problem for us.
The crew was just as wonderful as we remembered. They were especially great with my grandson. He enjoyed the children's program and all the activities. Meals were good...some better than others but no complaints on the food. Drinks...well I had to ask to have them diluted a couple of times as they were too strong. Yes you read right.....Bourbon and diet coke and really strong. But can't complain. Casino was not good to us this time.
I guess the one complaint we had was our neighbors. We had neighbors on both sides of us who like to party late at night. Now I am not talking about 10 or 11 at night...we are talking 2-3AM. Kept waking us up. Almost said something but didn't.
For those of you who mentioned free yellow birds when you board...there were none on this sailing...or at least we didn't see them.
The one thing that was really nice is disembarkation. As a member of Crown and Anchor (Platinum then..now Diamond) we went to private lounge to wait for ship to be cleared. We were escorted off ship by Ambassador for C&A before other passengers. We were off ship by 7:45AM. Also they had a lovely party on Coco Cay for C&A Platinum and Diamond members. Free drinks and pastries and fruit. Only 4 people showed up. So got undivided attention from Ambasador...she stated that scheduled refurbishment is going to last 3 weeks and cost 33 million. Not sure how they can do that much work in such a short time but will be interested to see how they follow their time line.
If anyone has any questions please ask. I will try and answer what I can.
I will try and answer your questions.
Formal gowns: I did see some people in long formal gowns but they were not in the majority. The majority seemed to wear cocktail attire with the men in suits or sports coats. I will say that I have found the formal nights to be less formal lately. Also a decline in attire in dining room. This was just a three dayer but we were on the Radiance for 14 days in April and the formal night was very formal but often saw jeans and shorts in dining room on other nights. The same on the Sovereign...jeans and shorts in the dining room for dinner. I also would like to add that the Captain's Cocktail party was done a little different on this ship. Instead of two parties in a lounge (one for main dining and one for second), they had one party at 7PM in the showroom. Also first ship you could not order a drink. All that was available was champagne and fruit punch. Captain was very friendly...and laughed when grandson brought him a cookie from dinner.
Volleyball: They have a small sport deck on deck 11. Only saw 1/2 court basketball, three ping-pong tables and two putting greens. Often people playing basketball and ping-pong kept bumping into each other as there is no seperation between the two areas.
Casino: Not lucky for us at all. As for table games. We saw blackjack, caribbean stud poker, roulette, craps. I think that was it. They did have single deck blackjack but first night out it was a $25 minimum. This was lowered by the second day to $10. The slots were about your average selection. Video poker machines had 5 different games on each machine and you selected your choice. But highest was a 8/5. And they certainly don't have the same return as in Las Vegas (or even local gambling ship).
Just a question about how your grandson enjoyed the cruise....we are taking our 6 (boy) and 3 (girl) year olds for their first cruise on October on the four night. We booked cabin 9502 to hopefully have some extra room first seating for dinner. We are usually second seating when traveling w/o kids so this is a new thing for us also. Did he enjoy adventure ocean? Were the programs appropriate for this age? Did he enjoy CoCo Cay? How did you feel about his being in the kids program? Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. We are looking foward to our kids enjoying RCL as much as we do!
The Sovereign is going in for her refurbishment in the middle of November 2004. I can't wait to see what she look like after.
We're also booked for Feb 2005. Can't wait to see the new and improved. In fact, I was telling one of my colleagues she was undergoing an 'extreme makeover' ~ Surely millions of dollars will make the 'ole gal look good as new (or better!).
BTW - on the 4 night cruise, does anyone know what night is formal night?
BTW - on the 4 night cruise, does anyone know what night is formal night?
I'm told formal night is Wednesday. This happens to be the day that Sovereign is in Nassau until 1:00am. I find it ridiculous to have formal night on this day. I understand that it can't be the first night or the last night, but what about the 2nd night when the ship leaves Coco Cay at 5:00pm anyway? I'm not happy at all to have to cut short my day's port activities to rush back to get ready for early seating formal night. (I enjoy formal night and do not want to miss it nor do I want 2nd seating with my 3 children.) I just don't understand the reasoning.
Also, I think I had heard something about the Captain's Champagne Reception being AFTER dinner? Is this true?
We are also going in April and taking my three grandchildren aged 9, 6 and 4. I would also like to know more about the children's programs such as the hours it is available and some of what they do. I know my oldest granddaughter loved the Carnival's kid program when I took her a few years ago. Thanks.
Formal night on the Sovereign is always the night you are in Nassau. It doesn't matter whether you're on the 3 or 4 day cruise. I guess the reason they don't do it the day at CoCoCay is that after a day of swimming and lots of sun, people would not be in the mood to get all dressed up. Also swimming makes for a bad hair day!!
The captain's reception is between first and second seating in the show lounge.
Shirley - To try to tell you what the weather will be like next July is almost impossible. Usually, and remember I said USUALLY, the water is calm this time of year and the weather is hot and sunny. That having been said, there is no way to know if you might encounter thunderstorms. You'll be in the tropics and t-storms can and usually do pop up anytime during the summer months. They usually come and go very quickly. You also have to remember that July is during hurricane season, so a storm can form at any time. Late August into early October is prime hurricane season, but once in a while a storm can and does form during July. That would affect the seas as well as they type weather you could see. Don't worry though ... The captain is not going to take the ship anywhere that would endanger the passengers and his ship. You would go away from the storm and may get a treat of a port you weren't expecting! If I were you, I wouldn't worry about the weather or the seas. Just go and have a ball. The Sovereign is a great ship!
Formal night on the Sovereign is always the night you are in Nassau. It doesn't matter whether you're on the 3 or 4 day cruise. I guess the reason they don't do it the day at CoCoCay is that after a day of swimming and lots of sun, people would not be in the mood to get all dressed up. Also swimming makes for a bad hair day!
Well swimming, sunning and snorkling is what we'll be doing in Nassau too. If it weren't formal night, we could get a few more things in as well.
A lot of people, especially those who have cruised many times, skip formal night on the Sovereign. Even those who do dress for formal night sometimes change immediately after dinner and then return to Nassau. It's all about doing what YOU want to do. The ship stays late in port, so you would have plenty of time to do things after dinner.
I was wondering if you went to the airport after disembarking. I will
be taking the shuttle and planned a 1:30 flight out. It sounds like
I should be getting off the ship early like you (platinum member and
in a suite) so I'm wondering if I could catch an 11:00 am flight. I
wasn't sure how long the whole shuttle process would take.