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Empress B2B 14 nights On The Biggest Little Ship July 2019


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Day Three - Sea Day

I woke up feeling like the ship wasn't moving and I thought we might be stopped or at a pier for a medical diversion.  Nope.  Opening the drapes the sea conditions are very flat this morning.  The itinerary channel on the TV system has us going ~15 knots.  Very smooth, it feels like we are going 4 or 5 knots.

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The full breakfast menu choice in Chops this morning.

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Chops has a private dining area contained within it.  I suspect this is where the Chef's Table would be held. 

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While at breakfast I noticed some marine life popping up here and there.  Back in my cabin I saw some more.

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Looks like dolphins, quite few of them but spread out for 15 minutes here and there.

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Voom Surf and Stream this morning:

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Our progress so far...

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Cruise Summary Don't let the pictures fool you, Empress is not a large ship.  Cabins from interior to suites are not as generous as they are on newer and larger ships.  In some cases the pul

With our fabulous dinner over around 10pm I was too full to retire so I changed into shorts and went for a walk outside on deck 6.  Venturing forward we were sailing into some sea mist from the warm w

I wasn't sure I would live blog this trip but Empress is secret favorite of mine and she doesn't get much attention here in the live blogs. Empress is a small ship yet she doesn't feel small on b

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56 minutes ago, twangster said:

Day Two - Key West, continued...

We arrived as the first ship into port and we hit the jackpot with the primary Mallory Square berth.  A Carnival ship would arrive later and end up behind us.

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It grew hot pretty quickly so I ventured off to grab a few pictures in between work activities.  I am working a bit on this cruise so I took advantage of the strong cellular connection towards that goal.

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Back on board we sailed away at 5:30pm and I made my way to the Windjammer for dinner.  Jerk night.  Yum.  

The WJ is forward facing on this ship.

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The band Mass Effect was playing in Boleros.  Pretty good and one Mojito turned into another. 

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A sunset was looking promising but some clouds on the horizon stole the show away from me.  From the pool deck;

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The Viking Crown Lounge is different on Empress.  It is aft facing, not forward facing like the VCL is on most other current ships.

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Empress does have a rock climbing wall.

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Movie night.  Tonight's movie was Captain Marvel.

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This picture doesn't do golden hour justice.  Sunsets at sea are often some of the best.

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Kim Kincade was on the piano and singing in the Schooner Bar.  Ballroom dancing display in the Main Theater didn't grab my attention so I hung out in the Schooner Bar for and hour, or two, or three.  Kim is from Nova Scotia and he is pretty good.  

Late night adult comedy hour was good and the theater was packed.  A couple had their 5 or 6 year old daughter with them.  This show was not appropriate for that age and the comedian didn't hold back.   She doesn't speak english was the couples response.  I don't buy that.  Some people.  

From what I've seen - there's no specific Comedy Club venue on Empress - and most activities are in the Main Theater.  Are there 2 shows/activities most nights?  Comedians each night or just some nights? 

And have participated in a Quest-type scavenger hunt on a Fun Ship - but have heard that they are more random and not the same repeated items on RC - is that true?  And which night is it normally held?

Thanks so much for sharing your photos - they are making us want Thanksgiving to get here even faster.  🙂 

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1 hour ago, Bethlehem_GA_Cruisers said:

From what I've seen - there's no specific Comedy Club venue on Empress - and most activities are in the Main Theater.  Are there 2 shows/activities most nights?  Comedians each night or just some nights? 

And have participated in a Quest-type scavenger hunt on a Fun Ship - but have heard that they are more random and not the same repeated items on RC - is that true?  And which night is it normally held?

Most Royal ships don't have a dedicated Comedy Club venue.  Often a comedian will do a family friendly bit during the welcome aboard show and an adult only show in the main theater one night.  Depending on ship and cruise length sometimes there will be comedy on another night.  

Royal Caribbean ships tend to have an adult oriented Quest event typically towards the end of the cruise.  I don't recall Carnival offering the same when I last sailed them but that was a few years ago now.  

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When I boarded I was glad to see Louis Soomaroo back on board as Loyalty Ambassador.  Louis took very good care of me on my last Empress cruise and there's little doubt that he was responsible for the Diamond Plus pin left in my cabin last night.

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I actually made Diamond Plus 17 cruises ago but I had never received a pin.  It's not a thing for me, I don't tend to wear pins so I never pursued it.  Leave it to Louis to figure it out.  

A pod of dolphins provided some entertainment for us but it was hard to time the pictures right as dozens of them jumped around in front of the ship.

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Pool deck on a sea day:

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World's Sexiest Man contest.

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The crowd seemed to really enjoy it.

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As we reached the end of Cuba and entered the Caribbean Sea we picked up a gentle swell coming up from the South hitting us broadside.  There is a very gentle rocking of the ship occasionally.  Not bad, just a slight pitch now and then.   The bridge crew have kept us out of the rain as it passes us on both sides (or we just got lucky).

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With that past us we are back into sunny skies.

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9 minutes ago, twangster said:

When I boarded I was glad to see Louis Soomaroo back on board as Loyalty Ambassador.  Louis took very good care of me on my last Empress cruise and there's little doubt that he was responsible for the Diamond Plus pin left in my cabin last night.

I actually made Diamond Plus 17 cruises ago but I had never received a pin.  It's not a thing for me, I don't tend to wear pins so I never pursued it.  Leave it to Louis to figure it out.  

A pod of dolphins provided some entertainment for us but it was hard to time the pictures right as dozens of them jumped around in front of the ship.

Sounds like you are seriously having no regrets with these types of posts-sounds awesome!  I wish I was there!

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42 minutes ago, Michelleroman88 said:

Thank you so much for this blog. I am cruising on the Empress on August 10th for an 8 night East. Carribean. I had heard some very negative things about the ship so I feel so much better seeing your positive experience.

As he has said, if you go on this ship with big and or new ship expectations, you will be disappointed. If you go knowing it’s a smaller ship with less passengers, wanting to use the pool and be entertained in intimate venues, you are all set. Every cruise is what you make of it. 

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19 minutes ago, Michelleroman88 said:

Thank you so much for this blog. I am cruising on the Empress on August 10th for an 8 night East. Carribean. I had heard some very negative things about the ship so I feel so much better seeing your positive experience.

I’m looking forward to that cruise.  It’s been several years since I’ve been to Tortola and Jost Van Dyke.  

In general negative reviews often come from improper expectations.   In some ways negative reviews help to keep expectations in check so  people are pleasantly surprised when it isn’t as bad as some people report.  

Make no mistake, Empress is a small ship.  If you understand that when you board you won’t be surprised with her size.  She has all the essentials requirements for a great experience.   She might be the smallest in the fleet but she has the biggest heart.  

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34 minutes ago, CruisinUpinLife said:

As he has said, if you go on this ship with big and or new ship expectations, you will be disappointed. If you go knowing it’s a smaller ship with less passengers, wanting to use the pool and be entertained in intimate venues, you are all set. Every cruise is what you make of it. 

I have been on other small ships and have thoroughly enjoyed. Small ship negative reviews were not really whatI Iwas referring too. These were more like food was not good and poor selection, ship was dirty, and foul smell coming from aging pipes from bathroom waste. 

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10 minutes ago, twangster said:

I’m looking forward to that cruise.  It’s been several years since I’ve been to Tortola and Jost Van Dyke.  

In general negative reviews often come from improper expectations.   In some ways negative reviews help to keep expectations in check so  people are pleasantly surprised when it isn’t as bad as some people report.  

Make no mistake, Empress is a small ship.  If you understand that when you board you won’t be surprised with her size.  She has all the essentials requirements for a great experience.   She might be the smallest in the fleet but she has the biggest heart.  

Thanks again Twangster. I plan on going with an open mind. And I have never been to Tortola so I am excited about that as well. I just hope by then the protests in San Juan will be done and we will be able to go there. 

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Day 3 afternoon

I ventured around the ship and enjoyed a few cocktails here and there. 

Top Tier event at 5pm in Boleros.

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The Captain announced there are over 11 million Crown and Anchor members worldwide and 540 were on this sailing.

 365 Gold,  84 Platinum,  25 Emerald,  43 Diamond,  17 Diamond Plus, 6 Pinnacles.  Top cruiser 3,488 points.

Arriving back to my cabin there was an envelope on my bed.

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Windjammer for dinner tonight.

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Empress features hand washing stations in the WJ like newer ships.

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Gala Indian Night

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A small gluten free section.

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The WJ has been lightly occupied on the few times I've had dinner there.  I found some great new Indian items to try and they were tasty.

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Dramatic sky tonight

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In my cocktail induced state a number of different animals were conjured up in my mind looking at this cloud.  #FreeWillie

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Night 3 Pool Party

I wanted to check out the pool party they referenced in the letter.

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It was well attended with many people still in their formal wear since this was a formal night.

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Entertainment staff led the dance moves.

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I had noted the Windjammer offered "Late Night Snacks" 10:30pm to 12:30am and then a "Burger & Sandwich Bar" 12:30am to 1:30am.  There were a number of guests here at 11:45pm.

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Unlike the late night offerings on Mariner and Navigator recently this was more complete with much more than just burgers and hot dogs.  It was pretty much a midnight buffet.

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It wasn't packed by any stretch but I was certainly not alone.

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There were even some dessert items.

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Wandering around the pool deck it was a beautiful night with a sky full of stars.

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It's hard to see them in these photos but it was a great night for star gazing.

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I wanted to include a picture of the kids splash zone and here at midnight it was void of kids so I took the opportunity to take a quick picture.  I try not to photograph other people's children so this will have to suffice with the water features turned off.

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Day 4 Costa Maya

I slept in a bit given the late night activities the night before.  Looking outside I saw we had arrived.

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Today Empress was recording setting.  We are the biggest ship in port! We were also the only ship in port so is there that.

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Unfortunately a whale tail arrived to break our record.

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Fortunately the Fantasy didn't arrive until 1pm and with Empress being on the small side it was nice experiencing Costa Maya with so few guests present.

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