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Empress of the Seas Cruise Review
3.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1390 Reviews

First Time to Cuba

Empress of the Seas Cruise Review by Junodog

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Apr 2019
  • Destination: Cuba
  • Cabin Type: Interior Stateroom

I want to start this review with the statement that my wife and I are very hard to discourage on a cruise. We have cruise 19 times on many different cruise lines and yes some of them are LOW.

Embarkation & Disembarkation, we arrived at 11 am, but we had a check in time for 12 30. They let us move right on in and check in was smooth and easy like always. Dis, we do express all the time, so we took our luggage down to the Theater and between 7 45 & 8 30 we were off the ship. Great.

First, The Ship, I want to say, Yes the ship is old and small, but for getting around the ship was nice and quick. Yes were things that need fixing, and touch up, but what old things don't.

Food, we don’t really like eating in the dinning room so I can’t really talk about that (we don’t like dressing up). On this cruise we ate in the Windjammer all the time. We like the variety of foods and if it wasn’t up to our taste, we went and got something else. But it seem that everything we picked up was very good. I also want to let you know that out of all the cruises or most of them, you need to try the “Fish Fingers” with the tartar sauces. Lite and fluffy, WOW.

Who ever is the baker on that ship is doing a great job. They had a Large Cake just about every night, real Ice Cream !!! You got to try !!!!

Over all we enjoyed all the foods and we did not go Home hungry.

Entertainment, we went to a couple of the Head Liner, first day Andy Woodhull (okay), Juggling Randy Cabral (Great), Louis Johnson Comedy (Great), Jeff Tracta, singer/Impressionist (Great)

Port Shopping, Cozumel, we”be been there about a half dozen times so we did nothing there.

Cienfuegos Cuba, Royal Excursion, Cienfuegos Tobacco, small port, small town, we were the only ones in port and we thought that everyone else would be doing different parts of the town. NO, there were waiting lines on every tour we stopped at ??? 4-5 buses ?? I don’t think this was really planned out well by the Tour Guides. Nice to see everything about 3 to 4 times as you drive around. As we got back we didn’t have that much time to shop. Which was okay with us. We would have like to, but.

We would have gone right to Havana but we had a “Heath Emergency” and go out to Carmen’s to deliver him to the hospital. So we spent the next day traveling to Carmen’s.

Havana Cuba, My wife and I did not take an excursion. We decided to just go out on the town. We had from 4 pm one day to 4 pm the next. Our main thing was to get some Rum and Cigars. Rum, I will tell you try NOT to buy from the Hotels there prices are just a little bit higher a couple of CUC. Try to buy from the local stores, seem to be lower.

Cigars & some Rums, I would Highly recommend this Cigar store in this Hotel, #24, Conde De Villanueva. Store, Trends De Habanos, I will tell you that it was by far the cheapest we found after walking all around. It was one of the taxi drivers that turn us on to it. Box of Chiba, 4 Romeo’s, and a couple of bottles of Havana 3, 7, 15.

If you want to try some local foods you will have the opportunity any where in OLD Havana, and you can’t go wrong any where.

Casino on Ship, YES, it’s small and very tight in some places to just to get to a seat. There were just 6 Video Poker machine, all were .25. I can honestly say that it was a VERY tight week, Yes we hit a couple of things at different times but that did not pay for the week. TIGHT !!! Most of the other cruises we have gone on they were just a little looser.

Lots of Penny machines.

Over all review, We enjoyed the cruise for the relaxation any where we wanted to go and do nothing. We seen Cuba had some great foods in Havana for 24 CuC.

Yes, I would go back for a second visit just to eat some other stuff and get more Cigars & Rum.

Junodog's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Interior Stateroom
Cabin 3V 8683

Room is small due to the age of the ship. We had our room set up with the queen/King. Yes, you can only use one of the sides to get out of bed. We did put our luggage under the bed, which did help with storage. There is NO shelves in the closet. We did hang all of our cloths(shirts, tops etc) All things worked in the room, Water was hot and HVAC was cold !!!

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


Cienfuegos Tobacco Factory Tour. Tour company did not plan out the tours very well, we waited on every stop to see things. 45 mins at the Tobacco factory, 20 mins other stops.


Great to see the Old history in buildings and how they live in there areas.

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