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Help with Empress of the North

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Old 04-19-2007, 12:49 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 9
Default Help with Empress of the North


This is my first posting to the board, but I've been reading here for about a month as we've prepared to sail on the Empress of the North to Alaska - a life long dream! You certainly have a wealth of knowledge and experience here, and the passion shown for steamboating among the users is truely inspiring.

I've read over the past 2 days in various on-line locations about the norovirus outbreak on the Empress which took place in March 07 and see that there is now a post on this board called, "MAL story". I thought I had read everything that was published about the Empress prior to booking in early April, but now I've found the CDC website, which indicates that the Empress failed its inspection in Feb 07, scoring only 67 out of 100, with less than 85 considered to be failing. In addition, one passenger has posted her complaints about her recent Empress Columbia river journey on several on-line locations, including Trip Advisor, which address not only the norovirus outbreak, but also numerous issues with food quality, availability, and service.

I writing with the hope that someone else who has been on Empress since the Ambassador acquisition can post their reports about the boat. I know from experience in reading trip reports from other vacation locations that different people can have markedly different experiences and perceptions about the same vacation, boat, cruise, hotel, etc. I am hoping that this passenger sees the glass half empty and that general opinion is that the Empress sailings are wonderful experience. But, if that's not the case, I want to know also.

We chose this boat because of the wonderful things we had read about the boat itself as well as the ability to be right up close to the glaciers and wildlife, as opposed to the large cruiseship experience. However, we have paid lots of money to be on the trip, and while the scenery, ports, and boat are my main interests, I am expecting nice food and service to be a part of the experience.

Can anyone help? If you haven't been on the Empress since the AI acquisition, do you maybe know anyone who has?

I really appreciate any help you might be able to offer. Thanks...........
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