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twangster

Empress 8 Night Eastern Caribbean 🎵 ​​​​​​​Oops, I Booked it Again 🎵

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I think you have great  photography skills, I can see it. Great cameras both of them. Lightroom is a solid program. I have been just taking my pics with my iPhone and then editing and adjusting in Photoshop. I am planning on getting the new iPhone XS Max to take on our next cruise because it has a better camera. At some point it would be great to get the RX100VI just because it is so compact and takes unbelievable pictures.

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Posted (edited)

Day 5 - Tortola, BVI

 

We sailed through the Virgin Islands chain and eventually began approaching Tortola.

 

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Tortola has a pier.

 

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Our progress so far...

 

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Docked and ready to go.

 

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Excursion meeting point is right at the end of the pier where several people holding up signs were in place to greet us. 

 

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Edited by twangster

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My excursion today was Escape to Jost Van Dyke booked through Royal and later cheaper when it went on sale and I saved $19.  Jost Van Dyke is one of the smaller islands in the BVI with a small permanent population.  I've been to Jost Van Dyke before and booking this excursion was the very next thing I did after booking this cruise.

 

Very close to the end of the pier is the staging area for excursion boats.

 

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The boat has both inside and outside seating fore and aft.   

 

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The forward outdoor seating does some sea spray but it was very refreshing.

 

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Around 25 minutes later we were approaching this little slice of heaven right here on Jost Van Dyke.

 

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The water here is quite stunning.

 

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I wasn't quick enough to capture the decent size sea turtle that popped up close by in this general direction.

 

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On previous trips here the boat anchored and we swam to shore.  This excursion comes with a barge that takes guests to shore where you can just walk onto the beach without getting wet.

 

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There are numerous bars that line the beach.  Our designated section was at the end of the beach at Ocean 7 names after seven sisters that founded this bar.  Loungers and umbrellas were reserved for us.  We received tickets for one drink (beer/soda/water) and one meal each.

 

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It's such a beautiful beach. 

 

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There are several bars that we were free to visit.

 

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This beach is popular with the yachting and sailing crowd.

 

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The Ocean's 7 bar:

 

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At 11am our lunch was ready.

 

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Lunch was a hamburger or a hot dog.  I wouldn't rave about the meal but it did the job.

 

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Fearful I might develop an ache somewhere in my body I thought it wise to take a local drink called a Painkiller.  

 

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To be extra safe I thought it best to consume several.

 

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Too soon it was 12:45pm and time to head back to the real world.  The barge returned victims back to the excursion boat.

 

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With that we were off towards Tortola.

 

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The port area is very nice with some shopping, a few waterfront bars and no pushy vendors.

 

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Because of your pictures I must go to Tortola and do that excursion. What a amazing beach and they have Carib beer there, love that stuff.

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1 hour ago, twangster said:

 

Our progress so far...

 

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When I first glanced at the map, the circle showing the current location ran into the line showing the ship's path, and it looked like you did a perfect loop 'round the island before docking!  Then I took more than a millisecond to actually LOOK at it and realized my mistake!  

BTW, the beach/water pics have me jonesing for the tropics something fierce.  I head out on Majesty in just under two weeks.... and not a minute too soon!

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Posted (edited)

I was just at Jost in April. Your pictures take me back to paradise. Hands down, the best excursion I have been on!

Edited by schevel

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Swank Pad G said:

That's a great camera.  Twangster's pictures also prove one more thing and that is he has a good eye for composition, light, and subject.

 

Truly this.  A great camera is only as good as the talented photographer using it.  ☺️

 

I too am enjoying your photography, Twangster.  Thanks for sharing the nighttime shots of San Juan.  

Edited by barbeyg

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3 hours ago, barbeyg said:

 

Truly this.  A great camera is only as good as the talented photographer using it.  ☺️

 

I too am enjoying your photography, Twangster.  Thanks for sharing the nighttime shots of San Juan.  

Reminds me of a quote in the signature of someone in a photography forum - Chef...that was a fantastic meal.  What kind of pots and pans do you use?

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Good to see El Morro lit up.  We were disappointed in May when it was not lit for our departure. Wondered if that was still related to hurricane recovery.

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Day 6 - St Thomas

 

After a short overnight ride over from Tortola we arrived to a rain storm in St Thomas at Crown Bay.  Fortunately it's the Caribbean.  If you don't like the weather wait 15 minutes.  

 

This is a work day for me.  Gotta pay for these cruises somehow.  I stayed on the ship.  #boring

 

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I was curious where we went last night since it's a very short distance.  Looks like we just puddled around for a bit then made our way to St Thomas.

 

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Dinner in Chops, the second of my D+ BOGO.

 

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This is the 8th times I've eaten in Chops on Empress and it was bound to happen, the odds were not in my favor.  Finally a meal that was just okay.  Service was great but the filet lacked in flavor just a bit.  It's wasn't a bad steak but it was just average.  Maybe the Diamond Happy Hour wine closed down my taste buds, a better wine might have enhanced the meal.  Should have stuck with a paid glass of wine.

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Day 7 - Sea Day

 

On our way back to Miami.  Lot's going on around the ship but I'm on my office balcony working some more.

 

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Voom has worked better on this cruise.  While in St Thomas my cell signal would drop randomly before coming back.  I ended up going back on Voom and using wifi calling which was more stable compared to the local cell towers.

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I have truly enjoyed both of your reviews, especially the photos and your insights.

 

A question for you:  would you book JS 9600 again?

 

Thanks

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, beachnative said:

I have truly enjoyed both of your reviews, especially the photos and your insights.

 

A question for you:  would you book JS 9600 again?

 

Thanks

Since you are going to be on the ship for 21 days, not so sure I would book a cabin so far forward. The ship can really feel the rough seas if you sail into to some really bad weather, I think you would be much better off not chancing it  and book something more toward the  latter part of mid toward the aft.

Edited by Jimbo

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On 8/11/2019 at 5:48 PM, twangster said:

Something I forgot to mention in my last Empress thread are the USB outlets.  They are found on the bottom of the lights on each side of the bed.  It's a great hidden feature.

Are these in all cabin categories or just in suites? 

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18 hours ago, beachnative said:

I have truly enjoyed both of your reviews, especially the photos and your insights.

 

A question for you:  would you book JS 9600 again?

 

Thanks

 

I would.  I enjoy sitting on the couch and seeing a forward view with no balcony divider.  As I write this there is deck noise above me, scraping chairs as people move around but I never hear it at night, only during the day.  At times I think people must have ants in their pants because the chair scraping lasts for seconds that seems like minutes at times but it doesn't really bother me.  

 

If that deck noise will bother you, don't book this cabin.

 

12 minutes ago, TwizzlersAddict said:

Are these in all cabin categories or just in suites? 

 

Can't speak to other cabins, i don't have the nerve to bang on someone's door and ask :) 

 

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Day 7 Night

 

I did a lot of work today and had to deal with some stressed clients that were dwelling on an issue.  Wifi calling over Voom at sea worked quite well for several hour long calls.

 

With that said I was really looking forward to Diamond happy hour and the bartenders took great care of me.  

 

Flag on Nations in the Centrum.

 

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A bit of a sea mist tonight as we approach a full moon.  Not great conditions for night sky photography.

 

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Another item I really appreciate about a small ship and Diamond happy hour are the great friends I've met night after night.  On a ship this size you have great crew interaction but also an opportunity for great interaction with fellow guests.  I am going to miss seeing these same friendly faces night after night. 

 

Tipping is always a good idea for Diamond happy drinks as the bartenders get nothing for serving one.  A benefit of good tipping is great service and the bar staff have taken care of us night after night.  I'm going to miss that too.

 

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