1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Empress of the Seas
We were on the 7/18/16 sailing. We were very nervous after the initial reviews, but started to feel better after seeing the reviews of some of the later sailings. For anyone who is nervous based on the earliest sailings, don't be. Things are good. Its not the best cruise we've ever been on, but it was far, far from as bad as the first 2 or 3 sailings in May/June. Embarkation was a breeze. We had no lines, and no issues getting on board. We got right into our room, though we boarded around 1:00 and that's when they do say rooms will be available. We got our luggage a couple hours later, also well within the norms of cruising. The room we chose was roomier than most. I would recommend it over any other standard room. It was stateroom 8164. I believe at least floors 7 and 9 have the same layout. It was situated on a bumpout on the mid-rear section, so instead of the bunks being directly over the main bed, they were tucked in the bump out, so we didn't feel at all claustrophobic. It was by no means spacious - there is very little floor space, but it was nice to have the bunks to the side which gave a feel of roominess. The oceanview windows are big, and set in a bay (at least ours was). The drawer space is laughable, and the cabinetry has not been updated, but the carpets, mattresses and bedding were. The shower is as small as others have said - tiny! I'm a normal sized woman, and I just fit and had not a spare inch to move around. We had no issues with AC, in fact it was so cool, we had to turn it up. We did hear the engine quite loudly when pulling into port. That was probably the only negative about the room. The public spaces are nice. Some definitely got renovation dollars, others seemed to have been forgotten. Boleros was very nice. Schooner bar had old tired furniture. The food in the dining room was hit or miss. The salmon and lobster were overdone. The beef entrees we got were great (I order mine med-rare). Appetizers were good. Desserts hit or miss. The food in the Windjammer was eh. Again, not the best, not the worst. But temp was definitely off. Not much was hot, most was just warm. But we still enjoyed most of our meals. Service was top notch! For the whole cruise. All staff we interacted with was amazing! The options of activities is decent. We've been on cruises where we had to choose between multiple options at one time. This ship had some interesting options but also some gaps where we didn't have much to do - which is ok because vacations are made for relaxing! We didn't make it to any of the theater shows, but the games, trivia, etc. were all great and the staff was so entertaining and friendly. They have teen and kids activities but my kids never partook. The ship is small so we felt the waves more than any other cruise we've been on. In fact, it was so bad the first day and a half, many people I talked to said they got sick. I felt it and was a bit nauseas but never so bad I had to stop enjoying my cruise. All in all, a great value for what we paid for this cruise, and a wonderful vacation with our kids.

A good, not great, but good cruise

Empress of the Seas Cruise Review by bdfitz53

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2016
  • Destination: Caribbean
We were on the 7/18/16 sailing. We were very nervous after the initial reviews, but started to feel better after seeing the reviews of some of the later sailings. For anyone who is nervous based on the earliest sailings, don't be. Things are good. Its not the best cruise we've ever been on, but it was far, far from as bad as the first 2 or 3 sailings in May/June.

Embarkation was a breeze. We had no lines, and no issues getting on board. We got right into our room, though we boarded around 1:00 and that's when they do say rooms will be available. We got our luggage a couple hours later, also well within the norms of cruising.

The room we chose was roomier than most. I would recommend it over any other standard room. It was stateroom 8164. I believe at least floors 7 and 9 have the same layout. It was situated on a bumpout on the mid-rear section, so instead of the bunks being directly over the main bed, they were tucked in the bump out, so we didn't feel at all claustrophobic. It was by no means spacious - there is very little floor space, but it was nice to have the bunks to the side which gave a feel of roominess. The oceanview windows are big, and set in a bay (at least ours was). The drawer space is laughable, and the cabinetry has not been updated, but the carpets, mattresses and bedding were. The shower is as small as others have said - tiny! I'm a normal sized woman, and I just fit and had not a spare inch to move around. We had no issues with AC, in fact it was so cool, we had to turn it up. We did hear the engine quite loudly when pulling into port. That was probably the only negative about the room.

The public spaces are nice. Some definitely got renovation dollars, others seemed to have been forgotten. Boleros was very nice. Schooner bar had old tired furniture.

The food in the dining room was hit or miss. The salmon and lobster were overdone. The beef entrees we got were great (I order mine med-rare). Appetizers were good. Desserts hit or miss. The food in the Windjammer was eh. Again, not the best, not the worst. But temp was definitely off. Not much was hot, most was just warm. But we still enjoyed most of our meals. Service was top notch! For the whole cruise. All staff we interacted with was amazing!

The options of activities is decent. We've been on cruises where we had to choose between multiple options at one time. This ship had some interesting options but also some gaps where we didn't have much to do - which is ok because vacations are made for relaxing! We didn't make it to any of the theater shows, but the games, trivia, etc. were all great and the staff was so entertaining and friendly. They have teen and kids activities but my kids never partook.

The ship is small so we felt the waves more than any other cruise we've been on. In fact, it was so bad the first day and a half, many people I talked to said they got sick. I felt it and was a bit nauseas but never so bad I had to stop enjoying my cruise.

All in all, a great value for what we paid for this cruise, and a wonderful vacation with our kids.
bdfitz53’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Royal Caribbean Empress of the Seas price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Jet Skiing
    Discount Excursions Grand Cayman was awesome! Best excursion of the whole cruise. We did the jetski snorkel, stingray swim, starfish point. They take no more than 5 jetskis (6 including the guide) so you're guaranteed a small group. The snorkel spot was amazing and better than any other snorkeling we have done in any location. Carl was a fantastic guide! Highly recommend.
    View All 23 Jet Skiing Reviews
  • Snorkeling
    Discount Excursions Grand Cayman was awesome! Best excursion of the whole cruise. We did the jetski snorkel, stingray swim, starfish point. They take no more than 5 jetskis (6 including the guide) so you're guaranteed a small group. The snorkel spot was amazing and better than any other snorkeling we have done in any location. Carl was a fantastic guide! Highly recommend.
    View All 309 Snorkeling Reviews
  • Star Fish Point
    Discount Excursions Grand Cayman was awesome! Best excursion of the whole cruise. We did the jetski snorkel, stingray swim, starfish point. They take no more than 5 jetskis (6 including the guide) so you're guaranteed a small group. The snorkel spot was amazing and better than any other snorkeling we have done in any location. Carl was a fantastic guide! Highly recommend.
    View All 23 Star Fish Point Reviews
  • Stingray Swim
    Discount Excursions Grand Cayman was awesome! Best excursion of the whole cruise. We did the jetski snorkel, stingray swim, starfish point. They take no more than 5 jetskis (6 including the guide) so you're guaranteed a small group. The snorkel spot was amazing and better than any other snorkeling we have done in any location. Carl was a fantastic guide! Highly recommend.
    View All 724 Stingray Swim Reviews
  • Snorkeling
    The catamaran snorkel/rita tour was great. The snorkeling was "eh" and way too many people in the water, but the catamaran ride was great and the staff were awesome!
    View All 47 Snorkeling Reviews