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spence

Review - Empress of the Seas 6/20/2005

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Hi Gang, being that this was my first cruise, this is my first review, so be kind.

We were a extended family group of 22 people ranging in age from 18 to 82.

We sailed out of Ft. Lauderdale.

Day 1,

Sunday the 19th, 19 of our group flew out of Detroit Metro Airport, security went well and boarding was quick and easy, Northwest flight 242 was sold out and crowded. Only complaint, our group was not seated together, don't know if it was my TA fault or the airlines fault. Oh, well. Stayed at the Comfort Inn on Stirling Rd. Not the Ritz, but it was clean and the complememtary breakfast was good and filling and tided us over until the feeding frenzy on the ship.

Day 2,

Arrived at the dock via the shuttle bus provided by the Hotel. Arrived at 11:15am for a 5:00pm sailing. Embarking could not have gone smoother, They started at 11:30am and we were on the boat by 11:50am. (First drink was a Pina Colada) We were in our rooms by 1pm. On the way to Key West, the Captain stopped the ship to investigate a capsized boat they observed. We stopped for about 45 minutes but could find no one in the water, Captain radioed the Coast Guard and got permission to continue.

Day 3, Key West

Arrived at 7am, we left the ship at about 9:30am and took the Conch Train tour. Found out more about Key West than I really wanted to know. Did some souvemeer shopping and returned to the ship by noon for a 2pm departure. That evening, the weather started getting rough and the tiny ship was tossed, if the not for the courage of the fearless crew the Minn... oh wait... it was not the bad.

Day 4, Cozumel

Arrived at 1pm, did the Dolphin Encounter, very nice, be sure to wear your wet socks or something to protect your feet, you'll be standing on metal grating. Wandered about the park for a bit and went back the docks and did some more shopping, it was hotter that hell, and getting back to the air conditioning was a priority. We departed at 10pm

Day 5 Costa Maya

Arrived 7am, did the 4x4 Jungle jeep adventure, which terminated at a very nice beach haceinda, we had a bar-b-que lunch at the beach and returned to the boat docks. About an hour worth of driving each way, the jeeps were stick shift and in good working order, being from Michigan and doing some serious 4 wheeling before, the route was tame.

Day 6 at sea

spent some time at the casino (lost) and by the pool (got toasted)

day 7 Ft. Lauderdale

Arrived 7am, disembarkation was well organized and quick, we were on the bus (suppied by Royal Caribbean) by 9:30pm. Flight back was uneventful (Northwest Flight 243), baggage at Detroit Metro could have been better.

The Ship seemed huge to me (First cruise, remember), it was clean and well maintained. The food was fantastic, both the Carmen Dining room and the Windjammer Lounge were both memerable. Cyril, out waiter, was fantastic, almost reading our minds. Marvin, our room steward, was most attentive and made our cruise very pleasureable. Our room (9158) was a Junoir Suite, it was clean and bug free. THe shower drain clogged Wednesday night, one call to maintenience got it fixed pronto. The balcony was great for room service breakfast.

All in all, it was a most pleasent vacation. We will cruise again (minus the group).

We packed too many clothes and not enough money (damn casino). TV did not have an option to review your Seapass account.

One big downside, The satalight link was very sporatic during the NBA finals (Pistons lost, so not that big a deal).

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Thanks for the nice review, Spence...Good job!

I especially liked your remarks about the room..."clean and bug free"! hehe :grin:

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Great review. Thanks for sharing.

Did Royal Caribbean book your air for you? If they did, that could explain why your seats weren't together. We've been there ourselves...

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Sounds like you had a great cruise! I especially loved the reference to Gilligan's Island...........................

spence unless you book way ahead of time (like when the flights first become available 330 days out), it is really hard to get 19 seats together. I wouldn't put too much blame on either the airline or the TA. I've seen families of 5 having a hard time getting seats together. Many people would have to have been willing to change seats in order for your family to be seated in one large group - and that is really unlikely to happen - especially since some would have had to end up in middle seats (and if they booked an aisle or window they will not easily give those up - and rightly so imho.)

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Great review, Spence. Thanks for sharing. My wife and I did our first cruise also on this ship, but then it was the Nordic Empress. We loved the ship, and still think that it was one of the best that we were on. I understand what you mean about how the rough weather felt on the Empress. We were hit with a hurricane the 1st day out of New York on our way to Bermuda on our Empress cruise. I think, all in all, she handled the weather great.

Glad you enjoyed the cruise. :grin:

Howard

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Thanks for the review, spence! I just added it to our Cruise Review Directory.

To access the Cruise Review Directory, click the "Reviews" tab at the top of any page. Then select the cruise line/ship you'd like to browse the reviews for. If you have any questions or need help, please let us know!

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spence,

That was a very interesting review. It sounds like you enjoyed your cruise.

How large was the capsized boat? That must have been an eerie sight for the passengers.

How far at sea were you when the capsized boat was spotted?

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Hey Spence,

It sounds like you had the worst kind of cruise possible .. the type that gets you HOOKED!!Now that you see how fun it is imagine when its just 2 or 3 of you !

Glad you had a great time... and you did an oustanding job on your review.

Thanks

always<]

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I didn't see the boat. as I was in the casino and didn't know about it until after it happened. My brother-in-law saw it and said you could only see the bow, he said it looked like a sailboat, As far as how we were out I couldn't tell you.

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