Early 2020 AD. Danny and I embark on a 21st century Odyssey. On the Majestic Princess from Sydney to New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji. Back to Sydney, then to Melbourne and flying back home.
We did this cruise before the coronavirus epidemic became a pandemic. We are very aware the travel industry and in particular the cruising industry is hit hard by the consequences of the pandemic. Travelling and cruising may never be the same again. But this is how we experienced cruising on the Majestic Princess in January and February 2020.
Compared to my experience on board Royal Caribbean‘s Serenade of the Seas and MSC Sinfonia there are so few announcements. Although after a few days and especially on sea days more announcements were made to promote all sorts of activities.
Unlike on the Serenade, there were no giant iPad-like interactive screens. There were ship maps, but nothing high tech.
The primary mean of communication is the ‘Princess Patter‘, the daily newsletter with all the opening hours of bars and restaurants that day and that day’s activities.
It will tell you if you need to adapt your watch. It will give you a boarding time if you can get ashore that day. So it’s very important to read the ‘Patter’ and check it throughout the day.
There are also port guides and extra newsletters for shopping announcements.
Internet and local network
Internet connection s*cked. It was so slow. It was dial-up connection slow. Frustrating. Ah well. The Majestic Princess wasn’t fitted with the newest internet connection technology at the time we sailed.
But there was this local website you could use. Some internal Facebook-like sight with information, schedules, your own calendar and a messaging system. That was nice and practical to communicate with other passengers.
A surprising and nice feature was the Netflix-like streaming service featuring new films such as ‘Jojo Rabbit‘ which was playing in cinemas at the time. And obviously you could watch some episodes of ‘The Love Boat‘.