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If you are considering cruising with Royal Caribbean, beware the Empress of the Seas. While all of the staff and crew were friendly and professional, the actual ship was tired and dated. Areas are clean, but in need of renovation. Our cabin felt more like we were in a mobile home. Because this is RC's smallest ship there was quite a bit of rocking. My husband was seasick for 2 of our 4 days. The pool on this ship is extremely small. Both the pool and the hot tubs were overrun with children without adult supervision. The adult hot tub had children in it constantly and with staff watching were never asked to go to the family friendly tub. Worst of all was the quality of the food. The quality was terrible, and everything was served cold. I didn't have a hot meal the entire time. The service in the main dining room was extremely slow (2 hours to eat dinner with a table of strangers), and you would have to ask for things multiple times each night. (i.e. drink orders, napkins, etc) The shore excursions were all really enjoyable, but I was unimpressed with the ship.

Don't be fooled into going cruising on the Empress of the Seas.

Empress of the Seas Cruise Review by BethBuchek

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2017
  • Destination: Bahamas
If you are considering cruising with Royal Caribbean, beware the Empress of the Seas. While all of the staff and crew were friendly and professional, the actual ship was tired and dated. Areas are clean, but in need of renovation. Our cabin felt more like we were in a mobile home.

Because this is RC's smallest ship there was quite a bit of rocking. My husband was seasick for 2 of our 4 days.

The pool on this ship is extremely small. Both the pool and the hot tubs were overrun with children without adult supervision. The adult hot tub had children in it constantly and with staff watching were never asked to go to the family friendly tub.

Worst of all was the quality of the food. The quality was terrible, and everything was served cold. I didn't have a hot meal the entire time. The service in the main dining room was extremely slow (2 hours to eat dinner with a table of strangers), and you would have to ask for things multiple times each night. (i.e. drink orders, napkins, etc)

The shore excursions were all really enjoyable, but I was unimpressed with the ship.
BethBuchek’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 3020
Do not stay on a low floor. We were woken about at 6am each time we arrived at port because all of the internal workings of the ship were below us. What would start as a hum would turn into the room rumbling like there was an earthquake.
  Empress of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Conch Train Tour
    The Conch Train tour was long and boring. If we were to do it again we would do the hop on/hop off trolley instead.
    View All 221 Conch Train Tour Reviews
  • Parasailing
    We went parasailing with FURY. Capt Mike and Jess were amazing! We had a wonderful time and had an awesome bird's eye view of Key West. My husband and I HIGHLY recommend it.
    View All 28 Parasailing Reviews
  • Snorkeling
    We went on the catamaran and snorkel trip with Seahorse Sailing. The sailing was fun and snorkeling was enjoyable. It was lively on the way back to the dock with great rum punch and music.
    View All 214 Snorkeling Reviews