Number of Cruises: 3
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Nordic Empress
Sailing Date: January 24th, 2004
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
We three adults also enjoyed ourselves immensely - the shows were very nice, the music lovely and the food excellent. The family ate together in the main dining room every evening. The staff was friendly, attentive, and very efficient. Our waiter, Anton from Transylvania, was absolutely charming and won the heart of my oldest girl. The food was delicious and varied. For the other meals, we went our separate ways but I often saw the older boys and girls with their friends in the windjammer café, although we old folks tended to grab a plate and eat on the deck. All the food was fresh and well prepared. I should also compliment our charming room attendant who was very efficient and extremely understanding (bed-wetting issues with two of the boys who feel they are too old to wear protection and conveniently “forget” to put it on). In fact all the crew were polite and efficient, although I did feel the people manning the purser’s desk were a bit abrupt.
As for the shore excursions, we opted to fend for ourselves except in Belize where we visited the Mayan ruins. It was disappointing - the windows of the bus were filthy so I couldn’t get any good shots of the landscapes and they have “repaired” parts of the ruins with concrete - quite jarring visually. In Cozumel we found a beach that I highly recommend - Paradise Beach. It was beautiful with lots of chairs, umbrellas and tables for the loungers and snorkeling equipment, kayaks, floating trampolines and inflated floating rock walls for the more active. Everything was free of charge except for the food and drinks. We spent the whole day there and the total bill was only $120 - food for eight people and tropical drinks for the adults.
I’m sure you are reading many reviews, so I won’t describe the ship, the excursions available or the amenities included. I just wrote this to dispel any qualms one might have about cruising on the Nordic Empress with minors. We all had a fabulous time and the children only want to cruise from now on. I can only hope that other ships can live up to the expectations they now have.