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Shawn H

Age: 31

Occupation:SEO Tech

Number of Cruises: 6

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Empress of the Seas

Sailing Date: September 12th, 2005

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

My wife and I booked a cruise over 4 months ago to Mexico through Royal Caribbean Cruise lines. We were anticipating going to Keywest, Cozumel, and Costa Maya. We departed Ft. Lauderdale Monday September 12, 2005, with our fist stop to be Key West. We are both veteran cruisers and have not had any major problems before. This being our first time on Royal Caribbean, we weren't sure what to expect. We are both non-smokers but don't mind smoke being in the casinos and some of the bars but people were smoking every where. I opened the book to read the onboard rules and regulations stating that Royal Caribbean was primarily a non-smoking ship with a few designated areas where people were aloud to smoke. The guy in the room next to ours lit up constantly and much of the smoke filtered into the hall way and into our room through our bathroom. We contacted the customer service desk several times stating the uncomfortable ness of the stay in our room do to lack of fresh air. They said that they sympathized with me but did not do much about it besides call the guy 3 or 4 times to ask him to slow his smoking habits. They also said the rooms were truly non-smoking but if some one wanted an ash tray they would give them one. Enough about that, I have a major issue I want to alert you on. We went on Emperess of The Sea. It being an older boat they have more routine maintenance of this vessel.

On the way to Key West our first stop, we heard a loud rumbling from the engine area of the ship which alerted all guest that there may be a big problem. Once arriving at Key West, we were notified before leaving the ship we were notified by the captain that there was a problem with prop number 2 and they would have some divers go down to look at it while we were in Key West for the day. When we returned that evening, we were again notified that there was a major problem with the prop and we would not be going to Cozumel and Costa Maya. We were truly upset as were many passengers as we were planning excursions to the Ruins and looked forward to going to Mexico for many months now. The next thing we knew was that Royal Caribbean’s Empress Of The Sea home port was from Nassau Bahamas. The captain said that we would be running on one prop to Nassau and that the parts for repair would be there when we arrived. I had already been to Nassau several times and had been to Cozumel. We knew that we were being stiffed out of a truly great vacation to go see some small dirty island where we would be harassed to buy coke, pot, and other substances, as well as wanting to braid my wife’s hair and so on. We had an okay experience with the sting rays but came back on the ship as the local thugs came out later in the evening. That night, the captain said we would be making one more stop in Coco Cay a small private island outside the Nassau area. We were also notified that Royal Caribbean would gives us an on ship credit of 150 per person to use on the ship as we wished. Coco Cay was okay as we did do the high speed wave runner tour but other wise it was very hot and wasn't Costa Maya or Cozumel. Upon exiting the ship back in Ft. Lauderdale this morning, a man in front of me said that he had booked a back to back cruise on Royal Caribbean and ended up in Nassau 2 weeks in a row. We are truly disappointed with Royal Caribbean for not giving us the option to stay in Key West. The wait staff are courteous and the housekeepers keep your room very clean. The staff was wonderful but the higher management stunk. The wait staff work for tips and nothing else. It is truly sad how Royal Caribbean takes advantage of their employees who make an unfortunate situation some what bearable.

My advice don't cruise fly to your destination or you may get stuck out in the ocean somewhere you don't want to be with no control over your destination.

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