We booked this cruise as part 1 of our honeymoon (then onto Cancun after) as it originally went to Cuba. Although Cuba was then off the cards (and beyond the control of Royal Caribbean) we still went ahead with the cruise. RC we're very good and put 50% of cruise fare into on on-board credit for the cruise. This was our first time cruising and it certainly wont be our last. We had a great experience and I would go with RC again in a heartbeat!
Check-in was very smooth, we arrived early and just walked through with no ques/line whatsoever. We knew this was one of the smaller ships but also had read that this was good in terms of not have to wait in lines etc. At Check-in we received our Sea-pass card which is also you drink package card. I would recommend the delux alcohol package even if you want 2-3 alcoholic drinks a day (this combined with the inclusion of soft drinks plus coffees will certainly be good value).
Onboard the cabin was small but we knew it would be and to be fair we only used it to sleep and shower as we were up and about for the rest of the cruise. The same can be said for the gym, it is very small but again, there were no lines so no wait for any of the equipment. I also used the running track on deck 5 most morning and there was a great atmosphere/camaraderie on the track every morning as faces became familiar!
We knew what to expect with it being a small cabin but used it as a base to sleep, shower and store our clothes etc. I wouldnt let the small cabins put you off cruising on this ship.
Taxi from the hotel to the cruise terminal. Empress was signposted on digital sign and taxi driver had no issue finding the terminal. We didn't even que just walked straight up, registered and went onboard.
Worst port. Total rip off with nothing to do. Stay on the ship if possible. Cruise companies should boycott this port until the swim with dolphin people are removed as its cruel and the tanks the dolphins are kept in are inhumane.