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-   -   Empress 11 Night Review (https://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=185815)

Giventofly June 2nd, 2005 03:07 PM

Empress 11 Night Review
 
Hi. Below is a link to my new review of my 11 night Exotic Caribbean Cruise on "Empress of the Seas" this past January. Sorry it took so long to put up, but websites aren't my strong suit. This is a long review with tons of pictures. Slower connections should be fine, however, as I have divided the 11 nights into several pages.

Please check it out, and tell me what you think.


www.realtyone.com/daniel.smith/empress.asp

-Dan Smith

terri23 June 2nd, 2005 03:29 PM

Awesome - better late than never! Thanks for posting.

jillybabes June 2nd, 2005 03:42 PM

Great pics and loved the commentary......Jill:cool:

ondeckatsea June 2nd, 2005 04:03 PM

Empress
 
Great job. So sorry you got so sick. That's awful. At least it wasn't at the beginning of the cruise. We took the same one last November and had a nice time.

Apex Cruiser June 2nd, 2005 04:58 PM

Thanks for a great review. Sorry about the camera and the virus. Question for you since I do indeed have some minor back problems is the ABC tour too much? Would love to do it but don't want to have a bad back the rest of the trip.

laurasue June 2nd, 2005 06:18 PM

Thanks for sharing! this cruise looks soooo tempting, and your pictures and review just made it more so. I am sorry to hear that your camera got soaked and that you got sick. But it looks like you enjoyed yourself in spite of that. :D Thanks again for sharing!

wisefoot June 2nd, 2005 08:54 PM

Thanks for your cruise diary
 
My husband and I just booked this cruise for next Feb 2006. For the first time in a long time, we booked the cheapest oceanview in the ship. But I figured an island a day - who needs a balcony. I also found out RCC is running a special on airfare to San Juan ($399 round trip from Dallas). Anyway - Thanks so much for the island updates and your pictures. Great job!

bas7 June 2nd, 2005 11:25 PM

Empress of the Seas
 
Dan,

Unique and intersting presentation. I will be sailing on the Empress from October 10th - 17th, out of Fort Lauderdale, however the Empress will leave me in San Juan, where I haven't been in many years. Will spend several days re-aquainting myself on the island, and then fly back to my home, Fort Lauderdale.

I have never been to St. Kitt, and I'm glad your relatives enjoyed the St. Kitt Railway tour. I plan to take that excursion myself. Was somewhat concerned, as the Empress will be docking there on a Friday. When I went onto the St. Kitt Railway site to read about the tour, it said, they only operate on Mondays and Wednesdays, during certain months, I didn't fall into that window. So, I immediately e-mailed them, and got a rather rapid reply back, and they told me that despite it being a Friday, they will be operating. Was really glad to hear that, as this excursion was one I really had my heart set on. Your description of St. Kitt, it's old world feel, it's narrow streets, and the apparant British influence have me really excited.

Sorry to hear about your virus, sounds like they took pretty good care of you, and also the loss of your camera.

Thanks again for a most unusual post.

Best,

Bruce

P.S. I like the smaller ships. Much more of an intimate experience. Have no interest in sailing on a floating city. However, I'm sure the time will come where I will.

Holland America, ms Volendam; December 16th, 2004, 11 Night Southern Carribean
Holland America, ms Zuideram, April 9th, 2005, 7 Night, Eastern Carribean

Soon To Sail on the Empress of the Seas, October 10th, 2005, 7 Night Eastern Carribean

Nyco June 2nd, 2005 11:38 PM

Thanks for taking the time to post a a great review

ArnoldM June 2nd, 2005 11:49 PM

Great Review and Pictures.

It looks like your new camera took better pictures than your old one.

What was your old camera and what did you buy to replace it?

Coralc June 2nd, 2005 11:57 PM

WOW! That is an outstanding review! We keep thinking about Empress, but there are so many port stops without a few at sea days to recoup.

Great review, thanks so much for sharing, Dan :)

Giventofly June 3rd, 2005 02:28 AM

WOW! My website has tracked over 125 views of this review today....I'm Stunned!

Thank you all for taking the time to read my review, and share a bit of my experience.

I just wanted to take a second and answer your questions.

First, Apex Cruiser .... You asked about back pain. I might clarify by saying that I abuse my back horribly (click here http://www.realtyone.com/daniel.smith/action.asp ) I am in constant back pain as a result of my sport/hobby of mountain biking, and biketrials. That said, the tour itself was ok, I was a little uncomfortable towards the end, if you ask to sit in the driver's compartment, as opposed to in the back "truck bed" area, I think that you'd fare better than I did. also, 30+ hours of vomiting probably didn't help my muscle spasms much either.

Bas7.....I watched the video footage that my mother-in-law took on the train ride, and I honestly regretted not going. The scenery was breathtaking, and the most amazing thing happened every time the train tour passed a school, all of the school children would pour out of the building, and run after the train, waving and yelling, Really cool to see.


ArnoldM.....Regarding my camera, and it's successor. My origional camera was a simple point and shoot canon a70. 3.1mpx, using a 1GB compact flash card. Since I had invested in a 1GB card, I really needed something compatable, and I love Canon's products. I stopped at the "Freeport Bargain Center, in curacao. I upgraded to a Canon a85. 4 mpx, but I'm a little dissapointed with the quality of the "video" mode on this model. The framerate is only 10 images per second, and the resolution is lower in video mode than the old camera. after doing a bit of research back home, I think I overpaid by something like 20 us dollars. A small price to pay to have pictures from the rest of the trip.... Of course, the new 75 and 85 models are slightly differently shaped than last year's 70 and 80 models, so the underwater housings don't fit....so I had to buy one of those as well......know anyone with a Canon a70 or 60 that needs an underwater housing? I've got one, only used twice!


Anyway, Thank you all for your comments. If anyone would like more pictures, or specific questions, just let me know. I have almost 2 gigs worth of pics from this trip, and I'd like to share (in moderation, of course).

Thanks!

-Dan Smith

AltaJoe June 3rd, 2005 11:04 AM

Great review.

We took the 4/11 sailing and loved it as well. For those who plan to take it here is a couple of recomendations from me:

St. Lucia - For those not interested in the mountain bike tour, I will highly recommend Cosol Tours; www.cosoltours.com. Cosol and his brother, Yellowbird will hook you up for one of the best tours that I've ever been on.

Margarita Island - This island is an unknown to most cruisers, and its guided tour industry is in its infancy. So, many people jump on an RCCL bus and drive around wondering why thy stopped here. Most will just walk off the ship to a private beach. The beach is nice and its a fun time, but it doesn't show the island for what it is or can be. So, here are a couple of recommendations: 1) Marlene Lunar - [email protected] or call her at 011 58 414 790 9982. She is conversant in English and will give you a look at the island that you'll never get from a ship's tour. and 2) Marcella Tinsman - http://www.casatrudel.com/crusin-n-style.htm. A third option is Walter - http://www.margaritaislandguide.com/index.htm. Walter is usually tied up with the cruise lines, but if he's free, he will be a top flight choice.

IMHO, Margarita is a great, and very inexpensive, island. Enjoy.

Pablo's Cruise June 3rd, 2005 12:45 PM

Nice review Dan! Sorry you got sick the last day or so. I sailed the Nordic Empress around 1998--you pics of the ship brought back great memories.

bas7 June 3rd, 2005 02:32 PM

???dscn1125
 
Hi AltaJoe,

Really enjoyed your pics. By chance, do you remember where DSCN1125 was shot. Beautiful background. Love those mountains. Was that you on the jetty? Lucky you.

Thanks.

Best,

Bruce

Holland America, ms Volendam, December 16th, 2004, 11 Day Southern Carribean
Holland America, ms Zuiderdam, April 9th, 2005, 7 Days, Eastern Carribean]

Soon To Sail on The Empress of the Seas, October 10th, 2005, 7 Days, Eastern Carribean

Sorry, Just realized I posted this in the wrong place.

AltaJoe June 3rd, 2005 03:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bas7
Hi AltaJoe,

Really enjoyed your pics. By chance, do you remember where DSCN1125 was shot. Beautiful background. Love those mountains. Was that you on the jetty? Lucky you.

1125 was shot at Turtle Beach on St. Kitts. The island in the background is Nevis. No that's not me on the dock. I appear in a Hitchcockian manner in 1119.

critterchick June 3rd, 2005 04:32 PM

What a terrific review! Sorry you got sick and your camera died. Everything else sounds fabulous!

We took our honeymoon on the then-Nordic Empress, my first cruise, and DH's first non-Navy cruise. You brought back some fond memories of the old girl (who was new and innovative when we cruised her in 1995, LOL)

bas7 June 3rd, 2005 07:28 PM

Beautiful St. Kitt with Nevis in the Background Picture
 
Alta Joe,

You made my morning, day, and evening. I've never been to St. Kitt and have always wanted to see Nevis from St. Kitt. I took a look at your picture, and said to myself, how beautiful that shot was, and where was it? And low and behold. it's St. Kitt, overlooking Nevis. I'm sailing on the Empress of the Seas in October, and will be there. I can't wait. Hoping to take the Railway trip while there.

Didn't even think you would see my post after you posted on this thread, but I guess it was meant to be. Tried to e-mail you but couldn't get through

Thanks so much for responding.

Best,

Bruce

Holland America, ms Volendam; December 16th, 2004, 11 Night Southern Carribean
Holland America, ms Zuideram, April 9th, 2005, 7 Night, Eastern Carribean

Soon To Sail on the Empress of the Seas, October 10th, 2005, 7 Night Eastern Carribean

Libracruzer June 4th, 2005 12:18 PM

I have been thinking of booking this cruise; would you rate the cruise based on the ports, and/or the cruise experience. At first glance I thought that it was too port intensive. Would appreciate your advise. I have been to almost all of the ports.

Thank you for the very excellant review.

AltaJoe June 4th, 2005 03:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bas7
Alta Joe,

You made my morning, day, and evening. I've never been to St. Kitt and have always wanted to see Nevis from St. Kitt. I took a look at your picture, and said to myself, how beautiful that shot was, and where was it? And low and behold. it's St. Kitt, overlooking Nevis. I'm sailing on the Empress of the Seas in October, and will be there. I can't wait. Hoping to take the Railway trip while there.

Bas7, the pics from St Kitts are #DSCN1075-1128. I'm not sure if the Railway Tour will take you down to the Turtle Beach area. We had a private tour with another couple that set it up. Our tour guide was Ilva.


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