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We chose this cruise based on price and ports of call for our winter break destination. Overall, we were pleased with the ship...what Royal Caribbean calls "The little lady with the big heart." The food and service in the dining room was excellent, and the Windjammer offered a nice variety of options for lunch and dinner. The breakfast selections at the Windjammer did get repetitive after a few days (same exact selection each morning with no variance). The rooms were updated, spacious and we were pleasantly surprised at how comfortable the beds were. The room attendant was also courteous and thorough with cleaning and restocking our room. The only negative experiences we had were the availability of deck chairs on days at sea, and activities for the kids on these days. These may be indicative of a smaller ship, but for the 1300+ guests, one small pool and a 100 deck chairs did not feel sufficient or meet the needs of the guests. The hot tub was also limited to adult use, which the kids were less than enthused about. Also, the front desk staff was abrupt and borderline rude to me on several occasions when I inquired about excursions, needed a replacement room key, and questioned a charge. Lastly, I felt the excursion we took in Belize was falsely advertised, as the price was greatly inflated when we registered on board, from both the website, and even the brochure that was available at the beginning of the cruise. When I inquired if they would honor the advertised price, I was abruptly told "No." I felt $560 for three young children and an adult was an excessive fee for an excursion!! Additionally, there was NO open bar, which was advertised in all the excursion brochures and listings!! One final note ----the disembarking took over 2 hours longer than the stated time. We had relatives picking us up, and were told to be out of our rooms and ready to disembark, but only ended up waiting for 2 1/2 hours in a common area to be given the go ahead.

Empress of the Seas Cruise to Mexico and Belize

Empress of the Seas Cruise Review by Lisabr13

Trip Details
We chose this cruise based on price and ports of call for our winter break destination. Overall, we were pleased with the ship...what Royal Caribbean calls "The little lady with the big heart." The food and service in the dining room was excellent, and the Windjammer offered a nice variety of options for lunch and dinner. The breakfast selections at the Windjammer did get repetitive after a few days (same exact selection each morning with no variance). The rooms were updated, spacious and we were pleasantly surprised at how comfortable the beds were. The room attendant was also courteous and thorough with cleaning and restocking our room.

The only negative experiences we had were the availability of deck chairs on days at sea, and activities for the kids on these days. These may be indicative of a smaller ship, but for the 1300+ guests, one small pool and a 100 deck chairs did not feel sufficient or meet the needs of the guests. The hot tub was also limited to adult use, which the kids were less than enthused about. Also, the front desk staff was abrupt and borderline rude to me on several occasions when I inquired about excursions, needed a replacement room key, and questioned a charge. Lastly, I felt the excursion we took in Belize was falsely advertised, as the price was greatly inflated when we registered on board, from both the website, and even the brochure that was available at the beginning of the cruise. When I inquired if they would honor the advertised price, I was abruptly told "No." I felt $560 for three young children and an adult was an excessive fee for an excursion!! Additionally, there was NO open bar, which was advertised in all the excursion brochures and listings!!

One final note ----the disembarking took over 2 hours longer than the stated time. We had relatives picking us up, and were told to be out of our rooms and ready to disembark, but only ended up waiting for 2 1/2 hours in a common area to be given the go ahead.
Lisabr13’s Full Rating Summary
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Ages 7 to 9
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Cabin Review

Cabin 8646
The cabin was clean, well-maintained, and met our expectations. Our housekeeping staff was excellent, and replaced things as needed.
  Empress of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Bacab Jungle Park
    We enjoyed the ziplining, lunch and cave excursion, but felt the price was a bit excessive ($560 for three small children and one adult). Also, the price advertised on RC and in the brochure was over $20 per person less, and they would not honor the advertised rate. Lastly, an open bar was advertised, but there was no open bar; drinks were all pay as you go. I felt for this price, they could have at least offered drinks to the guests, as advertised.
    View All 20 Bacab Jungle Park Reviews
  • Costa Maya
    The locals were all very friendly. The sales tactics and urges purchase items did become a bit excessive, though.
    View All 2,488 Costa Maya Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Costa Maya Cruise Port Review
  • Snorkeling
    This excursion did not start off on the best note, as the tour was scheduled for 10:30am, and when we arrived we found the 9:30am group still waiting! The host, "Carla" was late and appeared flustered. Though we had prepaid a deposit online, she did not have us on her list. Thankfully, we found space on the boat.
    View All 421 Snorkeling Reviews