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Nordic Empress, Bahamas, October 4, 1996 - October 7, 1996
Allyn's note: This review was written over 7 years after the cruise so details are fuzzy.
We had first seen the Nordic Empress about four years earlier in Nassau and had been very impressed. We vowed that we would someday sail on her.
We were spending a week in Disney World and decided to tack on a cruise to the end of our stay. We arranged our airfare for the whole trip (San Diego -> Orlando -> Miami -> San Diego) through Royal Caribbean and picked our own Delta flights for a reasonable price.
After our week in Disney World we flew from Orlando to Miami and took the Royal Caribbean bus to the port. We checked in and found our outside cabin on Deck 6. This cabin was near the stern on the starboard side.
Our cabin was small. This was our first experience with Royal Caribbean's legendary tiny cabins. There wasn't a lot of room, but there was enough.
We went to the wine tasting (we always go to the wine tastings), and won the door prize, a special bottle of white wine, with the Royal Caribbean logo etched on the bottle in gold! What a great keepsake. We still have it.
The dining room on the Nordic Empress has large glass windows looking out the stern of the ship is very impressive looking from inside and outside. Our table was on the balcony level overlooking the main floor but not that close to the rear windows. This was our first experience with table mates that we did not get along with. They were from South Africa and very snooty. We didn't have a lot to talk about and they never came to dinner again after the first night so I assume they transferred to another table. We even tried to avoid them if we saw them elsewhere on the ship.
Our first port stop was Nassau. I have no recollection of what we did.
Our second and final stop was at Royal Caribbean's private island, Coco Cay. We really like Coco Cay, it is a very beautiful island experience. We snorkeled in the warm water of the main beach area even though it was crowded.
Back in Miami, debarkation was a breeze. We were able to check our luggage right at the port (those were the days) and didn't have to handle it again until we picked it up in San Diego.
Allyn's note: The Nordic Empress has been renamed the Empress of the Seas in keeping with Royal Caribbean's "of the Seas" theme.
Allyn's second note: As of March, 2008, the Empress of the Seas has been transferred to Royal Caribbean's Spanish cruise division, Pullmantur Cruises, and has been renamed Empress.
Copyright © 1996 Teri & Allyn Fratkin, All Rights Reserved.