Alex & Tara
Number of Cruises: Many!
Cruise Line: Imperial Majesty
Ship: Regal Empress
Sailing Date: August 27th, 2006
We (my girlfriend and I), after reading some of the other cruise reviews were a little apprehensive about what our experiences were going to be. We were the first people on the cruise ship, and as such were allowed a modicum of time with which to hunt through the levels and see what there was to see. Our room on the Sun Deck was absolutely wonderful, and as a veteran cruiser, I felt it was more than adequate and had none of the trappings of the horror stories felt in the other reviews. It was large with a queen size bed and a large window. Coke and diet coke were available in the room, and the bathroom was large as well with a full stand up shower.
Our room was down the hall from the “commodore’s lounge” and the “mermaid lounge,” the two major indoor bars for the ship. The commodore’s lounge served martinis at a special each day during happy hour, which was also catered to in the mermaid lounge. In each there was a snack served as well.
The poolside bar was outfitted for frozen drinks of every kind, and due to the small amount of people on the cruise, we were asked if we wanted refills constantly. There was a commemorative cup that, when purchased, allowed for inexpensive refills. On one side next to the pool bar was the pool and two Jacuzzis, and on the other side was the area where the buffets were served. The pool was small, but adequate for the amount of children on the boat. The Jacuzzis were large, but not frequented as much as the pool.
The casino was down on the restaurant deck, and was large, if not a little antiquated. The restaurant was large and well furnished, the wait staff was friendly and attentive. We sat at a table with two other couples who were equally pleasant and made the time slip by quickly. The food was good, although a little conventional. All in all, I wouldn’t say the food was out of this world, but it was good.
The tour we took to the Bahamas was the “Breezes” tour, which I would recommend to anyone, as it allowed a day at an all inclusive resort, complete with pools, swim up bars, water volleyball, a wonderful beach with all manner of water sports, billiards tables and exotic things like rock climbing walls and trapeze. Our stay there was wonderful, and the food and drinks were conveniently located to both beach and pool.
Upon our return from our day out, we were greeted by a shock: a tropical storm. Ernesto was coming up the coastline of Florida and we were not going to be allowed to either stay in the port at Nassau, Bahamas nor enter Port Everglades, Florida. We were greeted by the “voice of the bridge,” who informed us that we were to be at sea overnight. I think all felt a little apprehensive, even in the crew, but I was fortunate to have the opportunity to talk with the captain twice and felt confident in his ability to get us home. As it turned out, we wound up with an extra day, this one at sea. The staff was very professional, and gave everyone their best without ever missing a beat.
We had normal “day at sea” activities including towel and napkin folding displays, fruit carving, massage exhibitions and wine tasting, among others. We went to sleep the second night feeling much more comfortable than the first.
The following day we were told that the ship would be disembarking, but that it was not entirely clear when. We waited and waited, but when the time came it felt neither rushed nor disorganized.
All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise and would recommend it to anyone who is in the region and needs a weekend getaway.