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
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
(Sorry so lengthy! Tried to be as thorough as possible!!) We chose this cruise because we wanted to celebrate my mother's upcoming 60th birthday and since she had never cruised before this would be the perfect time to do so. The cost ... Read More
(Sorry so lengthy! Tried to be as thorough as possible!!) We chose this cruise because we wanted to celebrate my mother's upcoming 60th birthday and since she had never cruised before this would be the perfect time to do so. The cost was right for us since we brought some other family with us and needed a trip that fit everyone's budget. The ship as has been mentioned before is an older model. It is not as big with all the bells and whistles many come to expect like from the newest ships. As someone who has cruised before, I was a bit nervous about that aspect. I have only ever been on new ships that have much to offer. HOWEVER, Empress did not disappoint. I actually think the smaller size worked in our favor. It allowed for our group to quickly find certain areas to meet on the ship and locate the activities with ease. Sometimes you can get lost on larger ships. Not a problem with Empress. Dining was good. They offered steak nearly every night in the main dining room. We were satisfied with the options and liked that they had a theme, i.e Cuban, American, etc for each night. Service is a tad slow. Dinner from start to finish was always an hour or longer. The Windjammer had many offerings of different types of food, surely something for everyone. My only gripe is the dessert. I did not like any of the desserts, they tasted very artificial for some reason. Empress had many different activities and events on ship. We appreciated that they had something for everyone (young and old). It is a laid back type of cruise but there were parties in one of the common areas nearly everyday and we enjoyed every single one of them. It was cute how they had themes such as 70s party, white party, etc. Very good music! The comedian was probably the highlight of our trip. He was hilarious!! The service is superb. Everywhere you go on the ship the workers spoil you with their customer service. Our stateroom attendant made our beds and tidied our room EVERY time we left. They were all so friendly and accomodating. We have no complaints about service. They really go out of their way to make sure you are taken care of in every aspect. Please note, if you go to Nassau there will be plently of ppl trying to get you to buy something. It is very uncomfortable and annoying to say the least. You cannot walk 10 steps without someone hassling you. I am glad that we did an excursion bc if you decide to try to explore on your own, that is what you have to deal with. Not knocking the locals, I understand that tourism is their top income-just know this is what to expect. Key West on the other hand, was amazing. I see why many people go there to vacation and never leave. It is a quirky town with friendly people, lots of shops, GREAT FOOD (Charlie Mac's has outstanding BBQ-HUGE portions!) and interesting things to see. I would love to go back if given the chance. I said all this to say, Empress of the Seas exceeded our expectations and we would surely cruise on her again! Hopefully next time going to CUBA! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We needed a short 4 night trip and this one fit our needs. The ship is small with no 'bells and whistles' that you may need to keep lots of little ones happy but it was fine for those of us traveling without kids. Our cabin happened to ... Read More
We needed a short 4 night trip and this one fit our needs. The ship is small with no 'bells and whistles' that you may need to keep lots of little ones happy but it was fine for those of us traveling without kids. Our cabin happened to be right under the theater and we could hear the drums/music when we were trying to sleep so some added ceiling insulation would have been nice. We did a snorkeling excursion in Nassau that was priced $120 for the two of us(lowest price offered) and it was enjoyable. Our actual time in the water was rather limited (maybe 30-40 minutes) but sailing to the reef and back was relaxing and fun (except for the overwhelming odor of urine from the onboard toilets--so we moved up front and it was better). Nassau itself (near the ship docks) was typically touristy and there were several merchants yelling for the 'beautiful ladies' to stop and they would get a great deal..today only..lol. We did not eat in Nassau. Our stop in Key West was enjoyable. I probably would not pay for the trolley again after seeing how close to the ship all the real points of interest were. If you can ride a bike you can cover most of Key West and save $$. There is plenty of shopping within feet of the ship but even further in there were shops/restaurants/bars that were easily accessible. Make sure to attend the Key West talk by Lee and she will hand out great coupons for free and highly discounted items in Key West. Service and food on the Empress were very good! We ate so much at each meal we swore we would skip the next....but we didn't. :-) Food was kept hot or cold very well and there was a good variety for a variety of tastes. The waitstaff was very attentive and seemed to genuinely enjoy their jobs. In general I would sail on Empress again but if the cost were the same for a larger ship I would probably opt for that to have a little more glitz and more onboard activities that were interesting. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Booked this short cruise over the phone at the last minute with RC . Decided to take an ocean view cabin since no balcony cabins were available. Was not informed that the ocean view cabin was completely obstructed view of lifeboat. Boat is ... Read More
Booked this short cruise over the phone at the last minute with RC . Decided to take an ocean view cabin since no balcony cabins were available. Was not informed that the ocean view cabin was completely obstructed view of lifeboat. Boat is very old with some furnishings that look like they are from the 1950´s. Food quality in main dining room was adequate, but not great, with buffet offered for breakfast at least once with slow cold food service à la carte as an option. My wife found public bathroom cleanliness to be the worst we have seen in over 15 cruises with different lines. On the plus side, staff was overall friendly and attentive, production shows and back up bard were very good, piano bar entertainer was quite good. Food quality in Chop’s grill was quite good. Service was good but slower than we would normally expect in an upscale « pay extra » dining option. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this cruise because we were limited on the number of days we had available and because we knew we wanted the Bahamas to be one of our ports, so this one fit the bill. The ship was 3 hours late on arrival, so after we arrived we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were limited on the number of days we had available and because we knew we wanted the Bahamas to be one of our ports, so this one fit the bill. The ship was 3 hours late on arrival, so after we arrived we were bused to the Bayside Marketplace. It was a fun place to hang out with plenty of shops and restaurants, but we would have much rather the cruise been on time. This caused us to miss a meal on board and have to purchase our own meal instead. RCCL provided each guest with a $25 on board credit to make up for the inconvenience, but we didn't feel this was quite adequate. Given the small amount of time we were going to have on the ship anyway, missing what ended up being 4 daytime hours was pretty significant. We dined in the Starlight Dining Room every night for dinner. We found the menu to be adequate, but not extraordinary. We enjoyed the shrimp cocktail, crab cakes, beef short rib, and pork loin. We did not pay extra for the lobster or surf and turf options, and we were saddened that this wasn't a part of the regular menu at least one night... those HAVE been options on other cruises we have taken for the same value. Although the wait staff was good (meaning they never messed up our order or took too long), we were disappointed in their overall friendliness. They didn't appear very happy at any point of any evening. We ate breakfast every morning in Windjammer because it was faster (buffet style). We enjoyed the large variety of fresh fruit options, but were not impressed with the pastries (although there were many pastries, they all seemed very dry and hard). The scrambled eggs were never fully cooked, the regular "omelets" had very little cheese and meat, and they only provided one plate of bacon (which of course is everyone's favorite and made the line very long). By the 3rd morning they opened up a create-your-own-omelet station, which was delicious, but also had a pretty long line. They had plenty of beverage options (coffee, multiple milk options, apple/orange juice) in the morning, but the coffee was always pretty strong. Our room was probably our favorite part of the trip. We were in 9664 which was a great choice for our family of 4. It has a little extra space compared to most rooms and provides a corner area for the bunk beds for our teenage kids. The bathroom was small, but that's expected. There was enough closet space, but no mini-fridge to keep our beverages cold. We had to ask for an ice bucket, which never lasted very long and only kept a couple of drinks cold. We were also given a bucket with a large crack that leaked all over our counter and got lots of papers wet. The beds, even the bunk beds, were very comfy, and for the most part we slept very well. We enjoyed our day in the Bahamas. We went outside of the cruise terminal area and rented two scooters for our family of four. We don't typically book excursions with our vacations because we know we can find a better deal on our own. We rode our scooters up and down the island, visiting Love Beach, the Caves, Paradise Island, and Cabbage Beach. We stopped at a place called Nirvana for lunch, and while the food wasn't great, we loved the beach. The water was so beautiful, and there were conch shells everywhere. But although it's fun to find them, they won't let you take them back on the ship. We enjoyed Cabbage Beach, and found a place just past the Atlantis area to hang out. We rented a jet ski, 2 chairs, and an umbrella on the beach, and bought an all-you-can-drink coconut drink. We took turns riding on the jet ski and lounging in the sun. The water was still a little too cold to fully enjoy being in the water. We had to return our scooters by 5, and the ship didn't leave until 11:30 that night, so we were disappointed that everything closed around the cruise terminal at 4:30 or so. We heard that Atlantis became a "free-for-all" of sorts after 5:30 or so, so we took a taxi and enjoyed some time walking around the resort and seeing all of the aquarium. The aquarium tunnels and viewing areas are pretty neat, and worth checking out, but there's no way I would pay full price. At that time of evening, everything is free and you can just walk around at your own leisure, but the water park is closed. Our day at sea was pretty boring and uneventful. We had breakfast, brunch, and dinner on board, played in the casino while our kids played in the arcade, spent some time in the hot tub, played some ping pong, and enjoyed a nap. We tried to enjoy some music in the lounge, but it seemed like every time we walked in, they were just finishing their last song. Key West was a little cool while were there, so the beaches weren't very appealing. They appeared small and not too great anyway. I think the cool thing about Key West must be the shopping and bar atmosphere and the boat excursions. There are plenty of options for boating trips for snorkeling, scuba, dolphin watching, fishing, and sailing, and the next time we go back we will definitely do one of these. By the time we found them, we didn't really have enough time to do anything before we had to be back on board. We rented a golf cart for 4 (which was a much better deal than taking the trolley because we could go where we wanted, it was on our own time, AND it was cheaper!), and really enjoyed driving around. 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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