Our family traveled on the Empress of the Seas on June 30th. We had a party of 7; 4 kids and 3 adults divided in two cabins which we were lucky to get side by side on the 3rd deck. My husband and I have been in several Royal Caribbean ships but never one this small. We were really concerned with the earlier reviews we had read and honestly if we had the option to change ships, we would of. Thank God we had a great experience. Our trip was fantastic and our 2 year old daughter, our two nieces 10 and 15 and our 15 year old nephew had a great time.
The itinerary for this ship was a bit odd compare to all the other weekend cruises we had taken. It left Miami on Thursday and arrived at CocoCay Friday morning. We then arrived at Nassau on Saturday morning and the ship was docked in Nassau until Sunday at 3:30 pm. Since we have been to Nassau multiple times and always end up going to Atlantis we decided to rent a car in downtown and drive around the island. It was the best decision ever! The GM at Avis told us to drive over to Nirvana, Love Beach and we did. WOW! This must have been one of the most beautiful beaches we have ever been to. Crystal clear water, there's a bar and grill right on the beach and the food and drinks were stupendous.
Anyways, going back to the ship....
Services as always did not disappoint us. Everyone was always friendly and helpful.
The cabins in this ship are outdated but very clean. Food in the windjammer was not the greatest. They lacked variety and only one side of the windjammer was constantly opened. Dinner at the Starlight on the other hand was fabulous. They had everything from steak, ribs, variety of fish, lobster and shrimp,...you name it, they had it and it was delicious. Breakfast at the Star Light was also a better option than the windjammer as it offered more variety, service was fast and the dinner hall seemed to be less crowded than the windjammer. Good news! The ice cream machine worked and was in full function.
Thank God this ship was not full as we feared. The pool is small but it never seemed to be over crowed. Same with the pool bar. Although, there is only one pool bar, the wait was never more than a minute or two.
I did think the ship lacked entertainment. The only options we had for dancing was Boleros and one night that they had a late night pool party because we couldn't enter the Viking Lounge since we had the kiddos with us. For my teen niece and nephew, they had a couple of teen nights they enjoyed. Point is, if you are looking for a party ship, this is not it. If you are looking for a ship to relax, drink, and dine, this is not a bad choice...enjoy!
Cabins are outdated and the shower is super small. My husband is 6'1 and had a bit of a hard time moving around in the tight space. Never the less, our guy Manuel kept our cabin fresh and clean and was always attentive to us.