Friday, March 9, 2018

Key West - Empress of the Seas

Rounding a corner, here's the sight - no ocean!
Key West can accommodate up to three cruise ships. They usually come on a weekday since they pick up passengers on the weekend. Today we were visited by Empress of the Seas, the smallest of the fleet from Royal Caribbean. Even so it's almost 700 ft long and holds 2466 passengers. To us standing on the dock, it looked enormous. We rounded the corner it looked like Key West had added a wall to the west.

It's hard to believe it's the smallest cruise ship in the fleet
It was docked at Mallory Square but Key West doesn't allow docking there by the cruise ships unless they are going to depart before the festivities start for the sunset. We wondered about that but sure enough, by sunset the ship was gone. The cruise ships don't add to the local crowd at evening restaurants since all meals are provided aboard and they travel from port to port at night, requiring a early departure.

Also of note today was my article published in Waterway Guide on the shallows south of Fernandina Beach. It's been dredged and rebuoyed but it's still no picnic. There are plenty of shoals where the unwary boater can pay homage to Mother Earth.  With the new route I published, I hope all boaters can avoid any contact with the bottom.


Unknown said...

Hi, did your iPad navigation article get published today somewhere? Have not found it. Garmin has irritated many recently. I think your article will be popular. Thanks

Unknown said...

Passed through Matanzas yesterday at low water. There is shoaling west of g81a. With a 6' draft we bumped about 75' west of the buoy. A following boat with 5' draft ran aground.

captainwjm said...

Before we go to Key West, we always check the cruise ship calendar to avoid the worst of the crowds.

Islamorada, Fla. Keys

Bob423 said...

Ronald, the iPad Nav Evaluation article is now due for publication Wednesday. The day after that I’ll,post it on the blog site. It was a massive undertaking. Had I realized how much time it was going to take, I would have hesitated doing it. However, it’s now complete and just awaiting the Waterway Guide Newsletter on Wednesday.

Richard, that is not good news! Thanks so much for passing your experience along. I’ll make sure everyone knows to watch for shoaling near G81A. I’ll,post it on Waterway Edplorer and in Active Captain.

Bill, the crowds tend to stay close to the ship. That makes places like Sloppy Joes packed but it has still been less crowded than in years past. As I said in my post, the restaurants are unaffected.