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Old July 18th, 2003, 07:57 PM
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Default Surprise Cruise for Parents-Nordic Empress...

Hi Everyone,
I had a few questions that I'm hoping you can answer for me? Well, just to give you come background...my siblings and I have come together and purchased a 7 day western caribbean cruise, as a surprise for our parents, on the Nordic Empress-departing Jan 10, 2004. Our parents are in their early 60's (just retired) and they are moving from Boston to Florida for good...we are going to miss them, so we want to give them a nice Bon Voyage gift. My dad is a HUGE cruise ship enthusiast but he hasn't been on a boat in over 30 years so he will be very happy I'm sure.

We shopped around, and found a pretty good rate on this ship, and it sounds like a solid ship-not too flashy, but still fun and age appropraite (not a total college party ship). Am I correct in saying that? My parents are very young at heart and would love to have a good time but also relax alittle. Does anyone have any advice? comments? feedback on this ship? We booked them an outside oceanview cabin on the 8th deck. Can anyone tell me about this type of cabin? Also, are there safes in the rooms? Will anyone else be on this same cruise?? Any excursion recommendations? How about gratuities...we included them in the total and paid for this in advance...what gratuities does this exactly include? Are waiters included? So sorry about all the questions!!! Any advice at all is welcomed!! I've read so much helpful advice on this website and I appreciate any feedback you can give me!

Thanks so much!!!!
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Old July 21st, 2003, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: Surprise Cruise for Parents-Nordic Empress...

What a wonderful gift for your parents!!!

I have never been on Nordic but am considering it for next year so I have read a lot about her.

Nordic is not the oldest RCCL ship, but it is the smallest in the fleet. I hear the crew and service is excellent!

I do not think you will find safes in the cabins, your parents will need to secure valuables in a safe with the purser if that is what they need. The older ships like Nordic and Sovereign do not have safes in he cabins.

8th deck cabin? Did you get to see the deck plans if you booked through an agent? The deck plans usually have the fine print about whether your cabin's oceanview view is partially obstructed.

If you go to
http://leisure.travelocity.com/Vacat...ITY_87,00.html

you can see a lot of info about the ship and take a look at the deck plans. Expect that he cabin will be VERY small. But little time is usually spent in cabin, so it should not be too big of an issue.

Deck 8:
http://leisure.travelocity.com/Vacat...7_543_,00.html

The gratuities that you pre-paid will cover:

Assistant waiter
Waiter
Cabin steward

Your parents "should" receive vouchers to put in the tipping envelopes that will arrive at their stateroom the day before the cruise ends. The tipping envelopes then can be given to the Assistant waiter and Waiter at dinner that last night. They can give the envelope for the Cabin steward directly or leave it in an obvious place in the cabin. The Head Waiter is only tipped if he performs a service for you, so it is not covered in pre-paid (as far as I have been told).

Gratuities are added to cocktail orders automatically.

As for excursion recommendations, do your parents know you have done this for them? When the travel documents arrive, they can read the descriptions and decide what interests them. The excursions can be booked online, so they can tell you and you can book for them if you wish.

I'm sure this will be a very enjoyable trip for your parents. My sister and I took our Mom on a cruise for Christmas and she is 62 and had a blast!

I hope some of my answers help you.

Dana

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Old July 22nd, 2003, 09:23 AM
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Default Re: Re: Surprise Cruise for Parents-Nordic Empress...

The Nordic Empress is a wonderful ship. My boyfriend works onboard this ship. I have sailed on her 8 times, with the 9th in October, and 10th in December.
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Old July 22nd, 2003, 04:54 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Columbus, Oh.
Posts: 2,183
Default Re: Surprise Cruise for Parents-Nordic Empress...

I have not sailed aboard her but she shared the outbound channels with Sensation when I sailed aboard her in February. If her crew and her interior are as good as her aesthetics, your folks, your dad in particular, will have a fantastic time!

Steve


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Until Inspiration
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