We choose this cruise for our January girls cruise based on itinerary and price. Mainly because the Empress was scheduled to go to Virgin Gorda (notice the word "scheduled").
Upon arrival at the pier at check in we were informed that due to high winds and rough seas we would not be going to Virgin Gorda but to St. Croix instead. In addition, they changed our day in St. Thomas from Thursday to Wednesday which complicated the fact that I had a rental car booked for St. Thomas. After several attempts to reach the rental car company I was successful in changing the booking by one day before we ever left Miami.
The ship is very small but very well kept, the furniture and rugs were in good condition, the bedding was also good. After boarding with very low expectations we all came to love the Empress over the period of our 8 night cruise. The amount of public space was wonderful and we loved the little lobbies with furniture outside the aft elevators. Since the rooms are quite small we spent extra time in our personal lounge but by mid trip others were taking advantage of this great space.
Inside cabin on the 9th deck aft. The cabin was tiny but we knew that going in. Not much storage but we made do. 3 drawers under the TV, 3 drawers in the desk. Nice storage space in the bathroom. Make sure your luggage will fit under the bed because if you put it in the closet you won't have much space to hang your clothes.