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11 Night Canada & New England Cruise from Bayonne

11 Night Canada & New England Cruise from Bayonne (Cape Liberty)

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Empress of the Seas
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Itinerary

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  • Day 1
    Bayonne (Cape Liberty)
  • Day 2
    Newport
  • Day 3
    Boston
  • Day 4
    Bar Harbor
  • Day 5
    Saint John (New Brunswick)
  • Day 6
    Halifax
  • Day 7
    Sydney (Nova Scotia)
  • Day 8
    Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island)
  • Day 9
    Cruising
  • Day 10
    Quebec City
  • Day 11
    Quebec City
  • Day 12
    Montreal

Empress of the Seas

Empress of the Seas - Royal Caribbean International

Pros

Small, uncrowded ship with plenty of window-lined seating and personalized service

Cons

Ship's age is evident in plumbing issues; lack of activities for teens might be a problem

Bottom Line

Empress has charm and offers a well-rounded cruise experience at a bargain price


Cruise Reviews

I chose this cruise for the ports of call. Specifically for Puerto Rico and Virgin Gorda BVI. Two places I had never visited on the 12 previous cruises I had taken. I always wave the Royal Caribbean flag and tried Carnival ONCE and went ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the ports of call. Specifically for Puerto Rico and Virgin Gorda BVI. Two places I had never visited on the 12 previous cruises I had taken. I always wave the Royal Caribbean flag and tried Carnival ONCE and went back to Royal for all future cruises but this cruise was only HALF my dollar value. I get that weather can't be predicted BUT Royal KNEW that the weather was bad in the areas we were heading BEFORE we sailed because the moment we arrived, they had changed our ports of call due to "weather". So BVI was out. Weather was horrific. People were sick all over the ship and we never had access to the upper deck of the ship until the last 4 days (of an 8 day cruise). For two days we didn't have access to the pool. At one point the pool was completely empty. Then we arrived at Puerto Rico 3 hours late which meant it was now NIGHT. No chance we are roaming around Puerto Rico at night with only two women. St Thomas was ok but my excursion which was a Snorkel and Beach excursion turned into snorkel only and the cruise line only gave me a 10% discount even though I only received HALF of the excursion experience. Called Royal Caribbean customer service to inquire about compensation. Even a credit towards my next cruise. The answer was basically "go away". Wow. I did not get my money's worth and they won't even give me a credit towards another cruise to keep my loyalty. Airlines now have to compensate travellers that experience more that 4 hour delay or if they are stranded. The same thing should apply to cruises. So disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We choose this cruise because of timing with families schedule. The idea of a small ship was appealing. Pros - super nice, fun, helpful crew. Trivia’s in the Scooners Lounge was an everyday thing. Getting on and off the boat was super ... Read More
We choose this cruise because of timing with families schedule. The idea of a small ship was appealing. Pros - super nice, fun, helpful crew. Trivia’s in the Scooners Lounge was an everyday thing. Getting on and off the boat was super easy. Pool band was awesome! Ports Of Call- Labadee was awesome. Set up camp at Nellies Beach. Explore the area but stay away from the market. There is a donation drive if u want to help the locals. Get to buffet early it was good. St. croix don’t explore alone if female. Men on Frederiksted Pier will ask u to drink and smoke weed. Don’t go to Frederiksted Beach by the pier rocky, loud music and shady men. St. Thomas Crown Center pier is better than the other one. It’s next to the Marina where u can hop water taxi $10 round trip to awesome Honeymoon Bay. Drive to Brewers Bay and snorkel e sea turtles and rays. Cons- food was terrible and this WAS NOT THE WAIT STAFFS FAULT. Management went over board addressing the complaint every single night. I should have lied when they asked how it was. Cabins are very very small and out dated. No fitted sheets, bedding constantly came off and it was old. I thought this ship had a makeover recently, if so it didn’t show. Constantly bombarded by Chops sales people, annoying. Can’t enter the tiny pool without everyone starring. Pool games were lame, they didn’t show on the big screen. Shows were not good. No grandeur of a promenade. No pizza shop . Late night eats were in Windjammer with flocks of people at the pizza station. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Overall Rating = 4.5 We have been on a total 19 cruises on many different lines, including Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, Disney, and Carnival. This was our fourth cruise on Empress, beginning in her inaugural season in 1990. ... Read More
Overall Rating = 4.5 We have been on a total 19 cruises on many different lines, including Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, Disney, and Carnival. This was our fourth cruise on Empress, beginning in her inaugural season in 1990. Reviews never cease to amaze me. Reviewers will complain about everything. Do these people eat gourmet style dishes with scrumptious desserts at home? Are they constantly waited on and cleaned up after? Do they have a variety of activities and entertainment choices every day? If you think the world revolves around you and you have expectations that can’t be satisfied; Stay home! Cruise experiences are very different depending on the cruise line, ship, destinations, and time of year. Do your research (Cruise Critic is a great resource); know the cruise line; know your destinations; and, most importantly know your ship, its’ restaurants, entertainment options, amenities, and it’s age and renovation history. NEVER pay attention to any reviews written before your ship’s last refurbishment. Ship: Empress is 30 years old in 2020, was last refurbished in 2016 and had a routine dry dock in 2019. It is less than half of the size of most cruise ships in service with the major lines and 1/5 the size of Royal Caribbean’s largest ships. At that size, there simply isn’t room for all of the amenities you see on larger ships. Some view these facts about Empress as limitations, while others view them as positives. The cruise experience is quieter, slower, and more intimate than others; this doesn’t make it better or worse, just different. You should know what experience you prefer and choose your ship accordingly. Empress is maintained like other Royal Caribbean ship, clean and inviting. Restaurants, bars, entertainment venues, shopping area, and the casino may be smaller in scale and not as shiny and new, but the quality is still up to Royal Caribbean standards. Embarking and Debarking: With Royal Caribbean’s infrastructure set up to accommodate much larger ships, getting on and off of Empress was a snap. We docked in Fort Lauderdale and were off the ship and in the Miami airport by about 9:30. Cabin: Empress doesn’t have the myriad of cabin choices of larger newer ships. The only balcony cabins are suites. We had an ocean view cabin, #8156. It was smaller than similar cabins on newer ships, which was most noticeable in the shower and closet space. The window was a large picture window with a clear, unobstructed view. The cabin was cleaned twice per day by our excellent steward, Sethko. He was virtually invisible and never disturbed us for any reason. Dining: We had dinner in the main dining room at one of the standard seating times. Empress also offers “my time” dining and I believe three specialty restaurants. Our food and service in the dining room was excellent. We did not visit any of the specialty restaurants, but a filet from Chops Grille was offered for $15, much less than a full meal at Chops. This is the first time we had seen an entree from a specialty restaurant in the dining room. It was a good, thick cut that was cooked absolutely perfectly. We had buffet style breakfast, lunch and late night snacks at the Windjammer Cafe, which offers a wide variety Hot and cold items and desserts. The Cafe was always clean and the old hot and plentiful, but Hey Folks, this is a buffet not a gourmet menu. Entertainment and Activities: Empress offered Las Vegas style shows, as well as two guest comedians, a guest singer, and a guest juggler. The production shows were of smaller scale than larger ships, but the quality of the entertainers was very good. All of the guest performers were excellent. Each comedian performed a “family show” one night and a late night “adult” show another night. All of these shows were hilarious. Many other entertainment and participatory activities were offered, including bingo, several game shows, live music, trivia games, karaoke, competitions, Christmas caroling, pool games, cooking demonstrations, slot machines and casino table games. We participated in several of these activities and enjoyed them all. We most enjoy relaxing in the sun which we were able to do as much as we wanted. Service: Service was excellent, from our cabin steward to our waiter and assistant in the dining room, to bar service around the pool and at shows. Ports and Shore Excursions: The ports for our cruise were Coco Cay, Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Key West. The transformation of Coco Cay is amazing. We first visited Coco Cay 30 years ago when it was literally a deserted island. Now your visit to Coco Cay can be as relaxing or adventurous as you want. There are now multiple barbecue venues and bars scattered around the island, as well as the water park, a massive pool, a protected lagoon for swimming, and multiple beaches. We lounged in some of the free loungers with umbrellas, swam in the ocean, layer in loungers on the pool’s tanning ledge and played some lawn games. The barbecue lunch was excellent, providing many options for your main course and desert. We did not visit the water park. There is a wide variety of things to do at Cozumel. We went on our own and chartered a private 35’ catamaran through an operator called “Deluxe Private Boats Tours”. It was for a half day and cost $1,200, or $120 each for our group of ten. It included food and drink, a nice cruise along the coast, a stop for snorkeling and a stop at a beach. It was one of the best island experiences we have ever had. I would highly recommend a private charter if you are traveling in a group of six or more. We did not book any activities at Costa Maya or Key West. Both stops offer shopping and dining options right off of the pier. Children: We did not travel with children. Summary: We vey much enjoyed our cruise on Empress. It offered a quiet, relaxing experience with plenty of entertainment and activity options. Empress does not have the options and amenities of a new mega-ship, but the cost of our seven day cruise was only $550 each for an ocean view cabin. Do your research, know what your ship has to offer and you will not be disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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