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  #1  
Old September 26th, 2004, 08:35 PM
smalley smalley is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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Thumbs up Empress of the Seas--9/12-9/18

Hello!

I took my first cruise a few weeks ago aboard the Empress of the Seas. The one thing I find myself saying after the experience is that everyone must try it.

We took a bus from Hartford, CT to the dock in Bayonne, NJ. Embarkation was pretty quick, we received our luggage long before dinner time...everything went very well.

Here's my nutshell version of the trip:
All of our interactions with the staff and other cruisers were extremely pleasant.
We were very excited to discover that they serve the same food in the Windjammer as they do in the Carmen Dining Room. We like to dress up for dinner on occasion but on vacation, that just wasn't us. We loved Portofinos and dined there twice. (we did wear smart casual clothes in there)

I found that at least for me, it was best to iron my clothes before packing and also that the Downey wrinkle release really doesn't work very well. Also worth mentioning is that we had no need for a nightlight in our stateroom. We had an oceanview room so perhaps that makes a difference between one without a window...but there was a nice (not) crack of light coming from the hallway through our door.

My group of 4 weren't really into the shows or the ship's excursions but everyone we spoke to who did engage in these activities had a great time. In Bermuda at the Royal Naval Dockyard we did go parasailing and jetskiing at the place right across from where the boat docks. Jetskiing ROCKED! We had our own "lust for life" moment when our guide took us roaring past the Empress of the Seas. He also took us to a little cove for a swim and fed these huge fish too. Parasailing is cool if you've never tried it but now that I have, I don't know if I'd do it again.

We also rented scooters from Oleander cycles. I know that the ship advises against it but we rallied...and immediately downgraded from the more powerful De-lux scooter model to the smaller ones. The people running the cycle rental shop were very cool about making sure we were totally comfortable riding the bikes before letting us take off. We were kind of scared riding them but we took it easy and all in all..it was fun. (though I think I'd like to try it again in America where we drive on the Right side of the road)

Hamilton was cool but you're only there for the day. If you want standard souveniers...Spinnakers is right around the corner from the ship and they had really cool and reasonably priced stuff. We took a taxi to Elbow Beach ($10 for the ride) and it's a beautiful, wavy, pink sand beach. Nice place!!

The seas weren't very rough though the first night at sea was kind of nauseating for many. We took ginger (not sure if it helped) AND some less drowsy dramamine (which KNOCKS you out).

Feel free to email me with any specific questions... I'm happy to answer them...I loved this cruise and will definitely take another and would also definitely cruise again with Royal Caribbean.

smalley1213@hotmail.com
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  #2  
Old September 29th, 2004, 10:02 PM
Deb K. Deb K. is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Ontario, Canada
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When you were on the Empress, did you go to the exercise room?
What equipment did they have?
Thanks,
Deb K.
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  #3  
Old September 29th, 2004, 10:47 PM
APB513 APB513 is offline
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Location: Ypsilanti, MI
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Thanks for the report. I'm sailing on the Empress in December and it's nice to read a positive report. Glad to her you had a good time.
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Dsney Dream 8/28/2011
Disney Magic 9/23/2006
RCCL Majesty of the Seas 8/2005
RCCL Empress of the Seas 12/2004
RCCL Sovereign of the Seas 12/2001
Carnival Tropicale 10/1992
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  #4  
Old September 30th, 2004, 08:12 AM
harry0 harry0 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deb K.
When you were on the Empress, did you go to the exercise room?
What equipment did they have?
Thanks,
Deb K.
In was on last week. There was 4 treadmills-3 crosstrainers(eliptical)-plenty of bikes-weight machines-freeweights-The set up is weird-it overlooks the disco-the only way to enter the gym is a spiral stair in the back of the ship. It was good enough for me-Harry
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  #5  
Old September 30th, 2004, 02:54 PM
Fan-ta-sea Fan-ta-sea is offline
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Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 252
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We were just on the Empress for the first time. One of the other passengers we were speaking with said that the fitness center was made smaller with the recent reburishment of the ship---she said they enlarged the spa and reduced the size of the fitness center. I thought the arrangement was sort of bizarre--the fitness center is more or less on a balcony that overlooks a lounge (Viking Crown??). There is a half wall---so basically you can be in the lounge and have people looking down on you while they exercise.
Anyway, whenever we went, we never had a problem getting to use any of the equipment. Also, if you want to walk, deck 6 is the "walking track"--you can do a complete loop.
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  #6  
Old September 30th, 2004, 08:02 PM
Deb K. Deb K. is offline
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Ontario, Canada
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I go to a gym a couple times a week but my dh would probably be just as happy with a couple of laps around the walking deck. I've decided that I want to dedicate an hour each morning to a little exercise. With any hope, I'll leave the ship the same weight as when I boarded.
Thanks for the info on the exercise room.

Deb K.
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