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eaglesfaninfl

Cruising to Bermuda

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Hi, all! We are considering a cruise this summer out of Bayonne on Empress of the Seas to Bermuda (two nights in Bermuda, porting in both Hamilton and King George, where we have vacationed many times and love being there). However, we are a somewhat leery of such an older and smaller ship. Usually we sail on Brilliance out of Tampa (or larger ships out of Miami or FLL), so we are looking for advice and counsel on a such a (smaller than Vision class) ship, if anyone has sailed on Empress recently (i.e. is there a walk-in shower, etc.).  We would really appreciate your thoughts and comments as we will be celebrating our respective 75th bdays and over 50 years of married life together!

We are also considering a Celebrity cruise to  Newport and Bermuda on board the Celebrity Summit, any comments on that would also be most appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your comments and suggestions.

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The ship is great with a great crew but the cabins are the smallest in the fleet.  A JS is roughly the size of a balcony on the newest ships.  No tubs in the JS, even they have a small shower with shower curtain.  

I plan on returning to Empress for a 5th time.  I wouldn't go back if I didn't enjoy the ship but the cabins are small.  

She is the only one in the fleet that can dock at St Georges and Hamilton which is very distinct from the other ships using the former Naval base. 

Live blogs from her:

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/8865-empress-73018-5-nights-inc-cuba/

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/14213-empress-b2b-14-nights-on-the-biggest-little-ship-july-2019/

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/14700-empress-8-night-eastern-caribbean-🎵-oops-i-booked-it-again-🎵/

 

 

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There is lots to enjoy on Empress... but not the spacious rooms.

I always sail interior rooms and am used to small spaces, but Empress's interior stateroom was about 15% smaller than a Vision class interior stateroom. If you want a big bathroom, I don't think you will be happy.

I loved the ship and have a cruise planned next year on her. YMMV.

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The docking at St George is HUGE for Empress.  St George in my opinion is the best part of Bermuda.    That alone would drive my decision even if Summit and Empress were the same, which they're not.

That said Summit is a very nice ship.  

So I think it really depends to me what you want out of this vacation.  Is your trip about the ship?  Or is it about the destination?  Both?  

If its more than 50% about the destination, I'd go with Empress.  If its more than 50% about the ship, I'd go with Summit.  

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We sailed an ocean view on the Empress this summer and did not have any trouble with our cabin.  It was myself, my teen and my 8 year old.  As long as we kept the cabin neat it was fine.  We used packing cubes for our clothes and it went well.  I would love to take the cruise you are talking about.  The Empress has great spaces on board on the outside decks.

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We absolutely love the Empress. We just booked our 4th cruise on her. You never have a far walk to get where you need to go. The crew is amazing. The cabins small but just enough to shower and sleep. Their motto is a small ship with a big heart and they live up to it!!

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Thank you @eaglesfaninfl  for posting this question!! I was looking at the same cruise and had the same thoughts. We have sailed to Bermuda many times on larger ships (Bayonne and NYC on RCL and Norwegian) )and have really enjoyed the trip. What caught my eye was the Hamilton & St Georges docking as well and I wondered about the how small the ship seems. The Navy Dockyard is great but can get a little crowed and not having to take ferry's to the islands is a plus. I know this is an RCL blog but I thought this tidbit was worth posting -  I didn't realize until 2 years ago that Norwegian has free ferrys to both ports.My heart is always with RCL though.  I think from the always knowledgeable @twangster's post and blogs it may have turned the tide on this for me. Bermuda is a great trip to experience a new ship on I think because most of the time it is docked and we will be out and about in the ports. I LOVE ST. GEORGE's!!!! SO I am now going to book it.

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On 10/21/2019 at 10:53 PM, eaglesfaninfl said:

Hi, all! We are considering a cruise this summer out of Bayonne on Empress of the Seas to Bermuda (two nights in Bermuda, porting in both Hamilton and King George, where we have vacationed many times and love being there). However, we are a somewhat leery of such an older and smaller ship. Usually we sail on Brilliance out of Tampa (or larger ships out of Miami or FLL), so we are looking for advice and counsel on a such a (smaller than Vision class) ship, if anyone has sailed on Empress recently (i.e. is there a walk-in shower, etc.).  We would really appreciate your thoughts and comments as we will be celebrating our respective 75th bdays and over 50 years of married life together!

 

We are also considering a Celebrity cruise to  Newport and Bermuda on board the Celebrity Summit, any comments on that would also be most appreciated.

 

Thank you in advance for your comments and suggestions.

 

We're on Empress in August 2020 for the very reason of the dock-ability in Hamilton & St. Georges.  We did it in 1997 on another tiny ship, the Song of America, and can't wait to do it again.  

We just got off Celebrity Summit yesterday - would hands down cruise on her again.  She's 90,000 tons, so same size as Radiance Class ships.  Also, she was "Revolutionized" earlier this year and looks amazing.  I'll be posting in the Celebrity section in the next day or so - it'll be a cruise recap/comparison of cruise lines, so check it out.  I need a couple days to write it up.

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