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Empress of the Seas Review

3.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1385 reviews
13 Awards

Small ship with great crew and no crowds

Review for Empress of the Seas to the Western Caribbean
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10+ Cruises • Age 40s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Oct 2019
Cabin: Interior Stateroom

We chose this cruise for just the wife and I. We have both been on about 12 RC cruises over the past 13 years or so. Our daughter is in school this time of year so she stayed back home and got grandma time. Couldn't beat the price for this cruise, we booked not long after the Cuba cancellations. The ship is small and you can notice a few areas where it has some age but overall its in excellent condition. We noticed right away that there were very little if no crowds or waiting in line, this continued throughout the cruise. The first afternoon is always a little busy on any ship but I compare it to a sponge, by late evening and the next morning everyone kind of gets "absorbed" into the ship. Going through the Windjammer for breakfast or any other time that would usually mean waiting in lines like on other ships was non existent here. Same with the elevators. Never had to wait at any bar and the bar staff quickly learned and remembered my order. We didn't use the pool but watched some of the activities around it like the belly flop contest and sexiest man contest and was easily able to get close to see. The single pool was small but never appeared to be too crowded. One thing I found unusual was the lack of a second level along the sides of the pool deck. This kind of limits some shady area there but not a big deal. There are several big hammocks and comfortable large lounge type chairs at the ends of the pool area deck on the second level. The layout of the ship is easy to learn and you can be anywhere you want within minutes of walking. There are lots of large windows throughout the interior decks to see outside and great views of the ocean and couches to sit on nearby, it feels very open and airy.

We tried an interior guaranteed cabin (they pick the room) because we aren't picky and were trying to make this affordable as possible. Ended up with 3109 which was your standard interior room for two. We were notified of the room selected about a week before the cruise. We were offered an ocean view or junior suite as a "Royal Up" but declined. The cabin was small but we had no problems. We asked the cabin steward if he would separate our bed which made him give us a confused look since we are married but it was a smart move as it opened up a lot more floor space and made getting in and out of the beds much easier with an aisle in the center. The shower is definitely the smallest I've encountered but then again it was sufficient. Overall the cabin was in excellent shape, clean, and there was a surprising amount of room in the closet compared to the rest of the small cabin. We don't spend much time in our cabin on a cruise anyway so it was plenty sufficient. We always bring some magnetic hooks and a hang over door organizer to better manage space....it helps!

We did notice a slight sewage odor from time to time from our sink and toilet but it never lasted long and there was also an odd smell occasionally on deck 6 which is where the open deck area is below the life boats. The port side of the ship is the smoking area on this deck which seemed opposite to most RC ships I've been on.

Cabin Review

Interior Stateroom

Cabin 2V

Small but clean and quiet. Shower is smaller than most. Staff did a good job of keeping the room clean. Bring overdo shoe organizer for your random stuff and some magnetic hooks. Closet has quite a bit of room to hang clothes and store suitcases. We had the room steward separate our bed and that seemed to open up alot more room.

Port Reviews


I always enjoy the sights of coming and going from port of Miami. Great and efficient port to use.

Key West

We always just take the hop on/hope off trolley when we are here and do our own exploring. Great place to visit.

Perfect Day at CocoCay

The new renovations for the "Perfect Day" are awesome. We didn't go to the thrill side as we didn't feel like paying for it and didn't really care to do the huge water slides and things. We also did not see the hot air balloon they advertise. Must have been out of service that day. The chill side has alot of the same wide open beaches and scenery along with some of the older little straw market shops just like it used to be. The Oasis Lagoon pool is included without extra cost and is absolutely massive. It also has a cool swim up bar. We were the only ship there on this day but I could see the place getting quite crowded if there were multiple large ships there at once. The lunch served is awesome. They have a few different things like a taco bar and a grilled sandwich bar with things like cuban sandwiches and portobello sandwiches. You won't go hungry and there are plenty of bars scattered around. Overall I was very pleased with Coco Cay and the changes they made after not having been for two years.

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