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Empress of the Seas Cruise Review
3.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,390 Reviews

Good Price, Great Service, Mediocre Ship

Empress of the Seas Cruise Review by ClarkMD

0 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2020
  • Destination: the Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Ocean View Stateroom

We have always cruised with another company wanted to try Royal. We chose this particular cruise for an anniversary trip, it was priced well with all the ports we wanted to visit in one ship and in one trip. Getting on and off was very easy. There are at least TWO dress to impress nights and the rest are casual. We had no idea what nights to expect what so had to play it by ear would like to know that info in advance.

The Pros:

for a small ship... she seemed sturdy only felt movement one of the days. The upgrades looked nice and refreshed and I didn't feel like i was on a 20 year old ship at all.

The service: Great and Positive. Most of our servers, bartenders and attendants were always smiling, happy and helpful. one or two here or there meh they might have had a rough day that day. Carlo in Schooners was our fav bartender and Sanjay in the main dining room. Ying-Ying is a great conversationalist.

Dining: Dining Room and Chops were very good... we ate there or ordered room service most of the time. service was fast and efficient.

Entertainment: All of the shows we saw were great. from dancing to a Juggler to comedians. belly flop contests and other pool deck contests, Trivia was not well explained the time we decided to go and participate but perhaps we were running late for instructions. The same team won all of the trivia's we went to. Trivia Quest was very entertaining to watch we didn't have enough to form a full team.


Excursions: only in two of the 4 ports but both were fun. All of the ports were easy to get around in.

The cons:

The stateroom: TINY TINY TINY but if all your doing is sleeping and showering it was fine... i couldn't imagine having more than 2 people in the room thou!

The food was GROSS at the buffet- i tried it twice and decided to eat in the main dining room or not at all the rest of the time. Not only was the food gross but it was very crowded and confusing. there were passengers reaching over me to get food and the directional of the buffet was ALL over the place. it was hard to find a table to sit at in the windjammer we ate on the pool deck area.

The average age of the passengers on the ship was a much older crowd then our previous cruises but still had a good variety of ages and everyone we encountered was friendly.

Entertainment: There weren't enough things to do on board.

Pool Deck: not enough loungers and the pool is small, the hot tubs seemed to be always crowded. The upper deck was nice to sit and read.... if you are lucky to find a seat not next to very loud talkers.

All in All we had a GREAT time, met some really great people, shared a ton of laughs and made new memories, even with the cons we would absolutely go again. However for us we would like to try one of the larger ships that has more options to keep us entertained. Family members booked the same cruise on the same ship next year.

ClarkMD's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Ocean View Stateroom

Very Small, but adequate

Our attendant was very good at keeping it tidy and checking in on us if we needed anything. it seemed like he was always in our hall when we needed him!

I was disappointed that there weren't more animal towels left LOL (juvenile i know but it makes me smile!)

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Key West

We walked around and explored on our own, southernmost point and Duvall St mostly. Had lunch and just wondered around, it was a great town with a great laid back vibe,


We walked around and explored on our own, southernmost point and Duvall St mostly. Had lunch and just wondered around, it was a great town with a great laid back vibe,


beautiful reef, quiet and serene if you are scared to snuba you can jump in a glass bottom kayak and follow along.

The food and drink areas didnt seem to be open in the afternoon which was disappointing.

View All 6 Snuba Reviews
Private Resort Day Pass

Beautiful Beach club with excellent snorkeling. TONS of bright fish and crystal clear water. Service on the beach for drinks which was reasonable. restaurant onsite and clean bathrooms. was EXACTLY what i needed to relax!

View All 222 Private Resort Day Pass Reviews

Captain Kirk was our tour guide and he was AWESOME so full of local knowledge and didnt seem to mind answering questions. We did the ATV, Zipline ,Cave Tubing tour with lunch and all of them were really great! The caves are not too scary and there was a pretty cenote in the middle of the tour which i though was really cool!

View All 375 Cave-Tubing Reviews

there were 5 lines went quick lots of steep steps still fun

View All 70 Ziplining Reviews

Ricky was our guide and he carefully explained how to operate the machine and made sure we were comfortable. I thought we went at perfect speeds.. had a lot of fun on this one.

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