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My first cruise I have Questions


Nick D
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Me and my girlfriend are going on our first cruise. We are doing the 4 night on empress of the seas to Cozumel. Didn't see any compus info on it.

1. How many formal dinners will we have? 

2. Is the key program worth it?

3. Any suggestions on activities in Cozumel?

4. Anyone who has been on empress what do you recommend for activities on the boat?

 

Thank you in advance for the help.

 

Nick

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10 minutes ago, Nick D said:

Me and my girlfriend are going on our first cruise. We are doing the 4 night on empress of the seas to Cozumel. Didn't see any compus info on it.

1. How many formal dinners will we have? 

2. Is the key program worth it?

3. Any suggestions on activities in Cozumel?

4. Anyone who has been on empress what do you recommend for activities on the boat?

 

Thank you in advance for the help.

 

Nick

When is your sailing?

 

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Welcome to the boards!

1.  You will most likely have 1 dress your best evening.  You don't have to be formal anymore and you will see a variety of attire.

2.  I personally don't think the Key is worth it but it depends on the cost and if you can buy it for around the internet price.  That being said 2 device internet would be cheaper.  You could probably use whatever money you save on the Key for a specialty lunch or dinner.

3.  Lots of suggestions for Cozumel if you search Matt's blog posts or the excursion board.  Many people like Nachi Cocum.

 

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We loved the Empress because it was a reminder of the old style of cruising and easy to get from point A to point B.  I highly recommend the cooking class at Playa Mia in Cozumel.  Hubby and I did it this spring for our anniversary and it was great.  They do tend to dress nicer for dinner on the Empress compared to the newer ships.

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14 hours ago, Nick D said:

Is the key program worth it?

We cruised Empress last November. We got one internet package for the two of us and just alternated turns as needed. It is a judgement call, but I would be less inclined to purchase The Key given the short duration. That being said, time is money; you may save some time on priority choice departure into the port. I would weigh the cost of a Chops lunch, whether you were GOING to buy one or two internet packages (or at all), and whether you NEED priority departure for disembarkation (I don't think you will need The Key for priority departure in the ports given Empress isn't large and you won't be fighting with 5K+ people to get off. 

 

14 hours ago, Nick D said:

Any suggestions on activities in Cozumel?

I have a suggestion NOT to do... I would skip Chichen Itza (if it's not completely necessary). It's really awesome to see, but the trip there and back takes the WHOLE port time... and you may enjoy relaxing somewhere more. I would recommend going when/if you ever vacation in Mexico (say at an all inclusive). 

 

14 hours ago, Nick D said:

Anyone who has been on empress what do you recommend for activities on the boat?

It's a smaller, older, ship. They have a rock climbing wall and a very small pool; that's about it. The charm of Empress (for us) was in the excellent service we found on board. We were a party group so had fun everywhere, but go into the cruise not expecting much (and you won't be disappointed!) Check out the cruise compass for theme party (it was 70's last year) and dress up. It should also give you an idea for other activities they are hosting that you may be into! We had a lot of fun at the piano bar! Nobody was dancing when we showed up! By the end of the night, a very sweet, elderly, widower danced with me (you can see her in the back of the video). Her daughter came up to me after, and with tears in her eyes, declared that she hadn't seen her mom have this much fun since her dad passed away years prior. Fun is what you MAKE it... never has that been MORE true than on Empress! Hope you enjoy!

 

 

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I always refer to Empress as "old school cruising" The rooms are essentially for sleeping and showering..  You wont find the bells and whistles on many of the larger ships..  We absolutely loved her.. The staff are top notch and there's more of a communal vibe on her since you'll pass the same folks all day.. Its easy to be social on Empress..  My favorite part about her was the back door going out of Boleros where you have a great view of the sea and its a really awesome spot to watch your sail away from.. Keep in mind that this is a smoking area so that if you don't like to smell smoke then I would suggest staying away from this area. 

If you have My Time dining you might be sharing a table with 8 other shipmates.. It makes it fun.. We had dinner with the same people pretty much every night of our cruise.. 

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I agree with the opinions on Empress.  We went several weeks ago, first time on that ship.  It was great....not lines or crowds to wait on, just laid back and spectacular crew.  I wouldn't bother with the Key.   In Cozumel check out Chankanaab Park.....look up some info and videos of it.   They have things like the swim with dolphins experience there but I found the swim with Manatees much less crowded, had more time with them, and it was fun!   Just depends on what you are into.

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We have cruised twice so far and went to Cozumel both times.

First time was last January on Mariner, and we did the Tulum Ruins/Beach tour through Royal.  It was a looong day.  45 minute ferry ride then an hour bus ride each way.  When we got back to the ship, we were exhausted.

Second time to Cozumel was a couple weeks ago was on Vision (size is in between Mariner and Empress).  When we got there this time, we went on our own to Paradise Beach.  It was relaxing.

While Vision is bigger than Empress, it is smaller than Mariner.  One thing I noticed on Vision is we saw the same people (other guests) quite a few times and got to know them.  The smaller ship had more of a tight-knit community feeling than the larger.  

We did not do the Key for either sailing.  We are contemplating it for our upcoming 8-night on Adventure in 3 months based on our experience on Mariner....not a bad experience, but I'd like time to do Flowrider and Rock Wall away from general public times (among other perks).

Don't get me wrong, we loved Mariner, but Vision definitely had a different vibe.

 

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2 hours ago, teddy said:

We have cruised twice so far and went to Cozumel both times.

First time was last January on Mariner, and we did the Tulum Ruins/Beach tour through Royal.  It was a looong day.  45 minute ferry ride then an hour bus ride each way.  When we got back to the ship, we were exhausted.

Second time to Cozumel was a couple weeks ago was on Vision (size is in between Mariner and Empress).  When we got there this time, we went on our own to Paradise Beach.  It was relaxing.

While Vision is bigger than Empress, it is smaller than Mariner.  One thing I noticed on Vision is we saw the same people (other guests) quite a few times and got to know them.  The smaller ship had more of a tight-knit community feeling than the larger.  

We did not do the Key for either sailing.  We are contemplating it for our upcoming 8-night on Adventure in 3 months based on our experience on Mariner....not a bad experience, but I'd like time to do Flowrider and Rock Wall away from general public times (among other perks).

Don't get me wrong, we loved Mariner, but Vision definitely had a different vibe.

We've noticed the same on smaller ships like Empress, Majesty, etc.   You seem to run into the same people all over and its a completely different experience than on the huge ships.   Its fun to chat with other people when you see them more often.   And inevitably you will run into to someone who lives nearby your hometown.....never fails!

2 hours ago, teddy said:

 

 

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17 hours ago, Nick D said:

Wow this forum is great. Thank you again for all the help. I'm going to pass on the Key. Really excited. Anyone have any good suggestions on travel agents for my next cruise. I called RC and spoke to agent and was not satisfied with the way it was handled.

This site is sponsored by MEI Travel: https://mei-travel.com/

A lot of folks here have used them (myself included) and have had a great experience.  They will handle dealing with the cruise line so you don't have to sit on the phone and they work with you to find what will work best.  I hate getting on the phone and my MEI agent corresponds with me via email and text I feel like she never sleeps sometimes ?

There's zero obligation in contacting several TAs to find one that will work best for YOU..feel free to shop around!

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On 10/28/2019 at 8:53 AM, AshleyDillo said:

This site is sponsored by MEI Travel: https://mei-travel.com/

A lot of folks here have used them (myself included) and have had a great experience.  They will handle dealing with the cruise line so you don't have to sit on the phone and they work with you to find what will work best.  I hate getting on the phone and my MEI agent corresponds with me via email and text I feel like she never sleeps sometimes ?

There's zero obligation in contacting several TAs to find one that will work best for YOU..feel free to shop around!

 I'm going to check with next cruise first. Matt said in his video you can get great deals that way.

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