Sail Date: April 2018
Yes, Empress is small and old, but she is beautiful. I loved all the natural light coming in through the atrium. There are seating areas everywhere to look out onto the ocean. The bigger ships do not have this as much. Our cabin was small, ... Read More
Yes, Empress is small and old, but she is beautiful. I loved all the natural light coming in through the atrium. There are seating areas everywhere to look out onto the ocean. The bigger ships do not have this as much. Our cabin was small, but workable, even with 4 people. The window helped alot! The food was overall good. Most food was very tasty, all food was the right temperature. I loved the Indian Corner in the Windjammer. My kids appreciated having hot dogs and pizza available all the time! The soft serve ice cream was also a hit in my family. My kids absolutely loved Adventure Ocean. They did not want to leave. The staff there is fantastic and it helped to have some adult time! The kids also loved the kids pool for splashing and playing. Their favorite part was going to the Key West Aquarium. It is small, but cute and interactive. We booked an excursion through Royal Caribbean for the Aquarium and the Conch Train tour which ended up being less expensive than booking it on our own. I usually don't book with the cruise ship because it is more expensive, so I was pleasantly surprised. Nassau is not my favorite port, but we walked to Junkanoo beach and the kids played for a while and then we walked back. It is a party beach, but pretty and we felt perfectly fine with our kids there. Overall, the service was great and it was a pleasant vacation. The only two downsides I had were the taste of the water and the coffee. I know they want you to buy these things, but we are usually not picky and didn't get a beverage package. The coffee tasted like it was overbrewed and sitting too long, however, it did get better as the cruise went on and I found that if I put lots of half and half in it, it was palatable. Also, get water from the ice machine. We realized that this tastes much better than the water from the juice machines. Just two minor annoyances, but overall, an enjoyable family vacation! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Although I initially choose this cruise because it fit into my time frame, I was pleasantly surprised at what a great time my family and I had! The trip involved myself, my husband, our 3yo daughter and my 70 yo mother (celebrated her ... Read More
Although I initially choose this cruise because it fit into my time frame, I was pleasantly surprised at what a great time my family and I had! The trip involved myself, my husband, our 3yo daughter and my 70 yo mother (celebrated her birthday in Key West!). I needed a trip that spanned her birthday, April 1st and was less than 7 days. Empress fit the bill, so we took the leap! I was initially nervous after finding out that the Empress was one of the older ships in the RC fleet, but my nerves were definitely calmed once we got to our room. And prior to getting to our room, the embarkation process was a breeze!! I highly recommend getting all documents together beforehand in order to expedite things, but the lines moved quickly and there was always staff around to keep things moving!! Getting the sea cards was super easy too. We had a junior suite and an owner's suite with balcony. Both rooms were immaculate upon arrival along with fruit and water!! Our state attendant almost immediately introduced himself after we got to our room and he was integral in making our stay great. Our cabin was very spacious and the balcony space was fantastic- room to both eat and relax!! Overall, the staff was excited and very eager to help and very entertaining. We saw almost everything from the musicals, to the comedy show, to the performance by Mr. Hopper to the farewell. The ship did a great job of having many options for entertainment. There were also a lot of options for the kids, although we didn't utilize them as much as I would have wanted (the trials of a picky child!!) The ports of call had great variety too, but I did feel like it was too short!!! I would have loved more time in both Key West and Costa Maya, but I did get a great overview of the areas. I expected a lengthy disembarkation process, but we had an 8:45am check out and we were getting in our car by 9:00am! I will admit that since we did have an owner's suite we enjoyed some luxuries that other cabins didn't, but still the service was exceptional and I would definitely book on Royal Caribbean again! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
Did a short 5 night cruise to work around kids spring break and a wedding. Loved RC before so figured we would try them again. Ship is the smallest of the fleet which had some good/bad points. Good: things were busy but never crazy ... Read More
Did a short 5 night cruise to work around kids spring break and a wedding. Loved RC before so figured we would try them again. Ship is the smallest of the fleet which had some good/bad points. Good: things were busy but never crazy crowded. Never a long line at the buffet, no problem getting seats for shows/trivia/belly flop contest, always a quick walk anywhere. Bad: food selection wasn't the greatest at dinner, pool and hot tubs still crowded, a lot of events (dance lessons, etc) going on in small centrum area instead of nightclub area. But overall the ship and trip was great. Traveled with family (2 teen daughters) who hung out with us. They loved the shows (dancing, comedian, juggler (no really..this guy was very good and funny, and a great singer (dude looked like Keifer Sutherland from Lost Boys but sang everything from Journey, Neil Diamond, Frankie Vali to opera- excellent showman!!). Cruise director (Hugo) and his staff rocked the place. Always funny and kept everyone laughing..maybe the best part of trip. Kids still using his phrases at home (are you ready??/ Yes or Yes?) Costa Maya port was a pleasant surprise. Go into town..don't get stuck at port which is very temping to hang there. Went to Tropicante -look on-line and talk to owner Steve Food, beach chairs and magaritas. Cabin was really small for 4 people (deck 4)..tough moving around for sure. Only real complaint is kids take over pool and hot tubs. Pools I get but there are supposed to be set times for kids in hot tubs and no crew enforces rules. Waiters and staff were very good for sit down dinners. Don't drink a lot but noticed not many bars around pool area. Highly recommend! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
My experiences before with Royal Caribbean Cruise was excellent. But now in this Ship the food was the worse one at the main dinner Starlight the food quality special on the NY strip Steak was awful and sucks. Sorry to say in that way but ... Read More
My experiences before with Royal Caribbean Cruise was excellent. But now in this Ship the food was the worse one at the main dinner Starlight the food quality special on the NY strip Steak was awful and sucks. Sorry to say in that way but everybody has the same perception. The service waiter was 5 Star A+.but the food like F-. The entrainment and show was excellent. The cabin was perfect for me and family clean and neat. The only in Costa Maya is controlled by the cruises ship you can't take any excursions is not with cruise for be Mexico is very expensive on that area. Services in cruise is great special on the Windjammer was A+. The Chop and Grill the quality of the food greatest excellent from the door until the end exit. Thanks Gabriel for excellent service, the quality of the steak was A shrimp and everything was excellent. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
I was looking for a cruise to go on that was affordable for my budget and fit my dates off from work. This was perfect! not too short or long. As a first time cruiser I didn't know what to expect. I usually go to resorts with more or less ... Read More
I was looking for a cruise to go on that was affordable for my budget and fit my dates off from work. This was perfect! not too short or long. As a first time cruiser I didn't know what to expect. I usually go to resorts with more or less the same food style but the quality of food was better. By a lot. One note worthy thing that I found interesting is I did not see one person that looked like they did not want to be there. Everyone seemed to enjoy what they were doing. That is a big plus because it contributes to a great environment and experience. Everything was super neat and clean, and the staff was well informed. We were informed that My excursion for Aqua Rocket at Costa Maya was canceled due to lack of sign-ups. My girlfriend and I were disappointed but we received a full refund, a 15% off a excursion should we choose to replace that one and a recommendation to an excursion that we may like based on what we've wanted to do. This was extremely helpful alone with a conversation with the excursion experts in making a decision. We did not get to do what we initially wanted but we still had a great time we our next option. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this trip because we wanted to visit Cuba. The boat was older but nicely renovated. Showers were small and we missed the touchscreens that show the Compass that we often utilize on other RC cruises. That being said, I kind of ... Read More
We chose this trip because we wanted to visit Cuba. The boat was older but nicely renovated. Showers were small and we missed the touchscreens that show the Compass that we often utilize on other RC cruises. That being said, I kind of liked the smaller ship. It never felt crowded but there were always people around. No trouble finding a spot to read by the pool! We were in Havana on an overnight stop on our cruise. We chose FerTours based on the fantastic reviews and we were not disappointed! Fernando was a great help in answering all my questions leading up to our trip. We had not been to Cuba before and wanted to make sure all of our documents were in order so we would have no unexpected problems. We preferred to work with a local rather than just booking an excursion through our ship. Alex was a wonderful guide. He was very knowledgeable about the history of the country. He helped us to create a personalized tour that worked perfectly for our family. We were not sure what we wanted to see or do but he led the way and when we wanted to learn more or take a break he was very gracious and had wonderful suggestions for food and refreshments. We spent the entire day and much of the evening with Alex as our guide. We were impressed with the charm and beauty of the city and with the people that we met along the way. Keep in mind that many of the streets are cobblestone -wear comfortable shoes. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Empress through the smallest RCCL ship, It has everything you need. Took the four day weekend cruise just to relax. As it is an older ship it is not perfect. As I have seen posted there is a bit of a sewage smell sometime, I purchase some ... Read More
Empress through the smallest RCCL ship, It has everything you need. Took the four day weekend cruise just to relax. As it is an older ship it is not perfect. As I have seen posted there is a bit of a sewage smell sometime, I purchase some sold air fresher for our room, seemed to help. I have been cruising for a while, so when I see people comment about the food I have to laugh, Everything they service has to be frozen. So the food is not perfect. I would recommend eating at the Windjammer, It is usually the same menu at the Main Dining room and you can get your food quicker. There were two things in the Windjammer that could us improvement. When getting your food there are not tray's or tray counter as you move along to get your food, so you have to hold everything. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Great service, especially dinner servers and cabin service. Really appreciated them getting to know our names--made a big differenct.Most bartenders were great, too, Furthermore, we appreciated the quality entertainment every ... Read More
Great service, especially dinner servers and cabin service. Really appreciated them getting to know our names--made a big differenct.Most bartenders were great, too, Furthermore, we appreciated the quality entertainment every evening--especially the comedian. However, during massage and facial the salon tried to oversell us on products by pointing out all our flaws.(There were 3 of us) In addition, they asked for an additional tip beyond the included 18% indicating the 18% didn't go directly to staff. I also had credit card attached to account but had to repeatedly go down to guest services to close out account--only to have them admit it was their error. This added another two hours to my departure.Finally, after looking at bill I saw salon added additional tip to bill. The entire entire salon experience added significantly more stress than relaxation. The only other negative was the hot tubs being continuously overcrowded and only sporadic monitoring of adults only time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
I chose this cruise because I traveled with my neighbor who hadn't cruised in a long time. It had 2 ports of call and a full day of cruising so she could experience everything.. We had a wonderful time. We walked around Nassau enjoying ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I traveled with my neighbor who hadn't cruised in a long time. It had 2 ports of call and a full day of cruising so she could experience everything.. We had a wonderful time. We walked around Nassau enjoying all the colorful buildings and had a drink at the Tiki Bikini Bar at Junkanuu Beach before enjoying the spring breakers and sticking our toes in the Caribbean (it was quite chilly since it is March). We had a day of cruising and just wandered around the ship, shopped and tried our luck in the casino. Shows onboard were excellent. Really enjoyed the singers and dancers, trivia, and scenery. Key West we took a tour on the Trolley and got off and on 3 times. Each of the drivers told us some interesting facts and personal experiences. Only wished we could have stayed until sunset to see Mallory Square. Read Less
Empress of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 3.0 3.6
Dining 3.0 4.0
Entertainment 3.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 2.5 3.4
Family 2.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 4.5 3.8
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.8

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