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Cruise Ratings
5,348
3,257
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968
Sail Date: January 2018
I read plenty of reviews on cruisecritic before boarding this boat and was shocked on the amount of people disappointed in the included drinks. There was every type of alcohol to make whatever drink you wanted! They have Baileys for your ... Read More
I read plenty of reviews on cruisecritic before boarding this boat and was shocked on the amount of people disappointed in the included drinks. There was every type of alcohol to make whatever drink you wanted! They have Baileys for your hot chocolate, Kahlua, Malibu, Bacardi, Jack Daniels, Old Fashioned, (not premixed) Pina Colada, Mango Meltdowns, Buschwackers, Mojitos, White Russians, Moscow Mules.. Pretty much any drink you want can be made with the included alcohol. If the drink they made wasn't strong enough, just ask for an extra shot. or set it down and order a new stronger one. Thats the beauty of it being an OPEN BAR. As for the boat, i would have wished that things stay open later but since its an older ship, and they have to take into consideration the things that can happen with everyone drunk, i understand why they close the sports activities at 8 pm. The food was great but could have had a bigger selection. This cruise is definitely focused on having fun at the bar. Tips & Tricks: The best bartender is Wilfred who typically works at the top deck bar by the adult section. Only get Mojitos from the Atrium Bar, they have a whole mojito bar and will add more alcohol if it is too weak. All in all, it is a fun boat to experience! I would definitely recommend! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We had a great time on the Disney Magic on our 5 day cruise out of Miami. The food was good from breakfast to late night snacks. We liked the room service which was included unlike many other cruise lines. The service from everyone was ... Read More
We had a great time on the Disney Magic on our 5 day cruise out of Miami. The food was good from breakfast to late night snacks. We liked the room service which was included unlike many other cruise lines. The service from everyone was great. We especially enjoyed our dinner server. The entertainment was enjoyable for all in our group ranging in age from 7 to 60s. We especially liked the pirate night activities and fireworks. Our captain did a wonderful joy finding an area without rain to have the fireworks. Our balcony room was very nice with a great room host who whenever we saw asked how we are enjoying our stay. We liked the split bath. It made getting ready a bit easier for all. Seeing all the Disney characters was fun. The whole family had a blast. We can't wait to go on another wonderful Disney cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
The embarkation process was negative. We were not able to get on the ship until after 1:00. In the meantime, they had us crowded in a port room where there were not enough seats for everyone. There was no food or drink available in the ... Read More
The embarkation process was negative. We were not able to get on the ship until after 1:00. In the meantime, they had us crowded in a port room where there were not enough seats for everyone. There was no food or drink available in the port facilities. Disembarkation was again slow due to only two customs people interviewing all the passengers as they got off. The ship has been beautifully remodeled and felt nice to walk through. On the other hand, the cabins are very tired. There was cracks in the ceiling and bathroom walls. The walls also had dents and seem to be made of cheap materials. But the cabin attendant did an excellent job making the room comfortable. The dining experience was wonderful. Being on a low-carb diet, it was easy to stay on the diet in both the dining room and buffet. The dining room service was excellent! The nightly shows were fun and of high quality. Most of the cruise staff was friendly and efficient The Shore Excursion desk was bad. They delivered the wrong tickets to our room so we had to go to the desk to get the right tickets. The experience in Nassau was awful! The Shore Excursion people got us all off the boat for the Pearl Island beach day. They sent away the better shore excursions such as Atlantis and then offered us a measly 10% discount on the inferior shore excursions remaining. They could have told us on the boat before they left. They lied to us and negatively impacted our vacation. The shore experience in Key West was great. We took the trolley tour and got a nice feel for the place. We did a little shopping and the people there were hospitable. In conclusion, the cruise is probably best for those who want a quick getaway (3 days), like partying and don't care much about the cabins and shore excursions. It is mainly a young adult and family crowd. I would not probably do this cruise again and would look for a higher quality boat or cruise line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We are from Western New York and just wanted a weekend get-away from the winter. Was disappointed that their island was only reachable by the small boats as the water was too choppy and the ONLY beach day was cancelled. I went on a Disney ... Read More
We are from Western New York and just wanted a weekend get-away from the winter. Was disappointed that their island was only reachable by the small boats as the water was too choppy and the ONLY beach day was cancelled. I went on a Disney Cruise and when that happened there, they switched the Bahama Island day with their Island beach day so nothing was missed. Norwegian should look into something like that. You have NO IDEA how important one beach day is to people from the north in January!! It was nice to have a commedian and movie available but there were no 'live' musical type shows, like Disney offers. The on-board sale where everything was $10 was a great idea!! You do need more 'kid type' souvineers available though, in your gift shops. It was very disappointing to offer all these "free drawings" at certain times, only to find out when you showed up for the drawing that you had to stand around (literally STAND and many people were elderly) for at least 20 additional minutes listening to sales people try to sell you stuff. That made people miss out on other activities offered. Jewelry drawing was at 7pm and art show started at 7:15. We missed the art show because it was after 7:30 by the time the lady blathered on about their jewelry shops! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
we sailed on 1/29 to key west and nassau. the sailing previous to ours had been very rough and we heard that many passengers and crew were sick from it. our sailing was no picnic either with the wind and the rough seas but we survived ... Read More
we sailed on 1/29 to key west and nassau. the sailing previous to ours had been very rough and we heard that many passengers and crew were sick from it. our sailing was no picnic either with the wind and the rough seas but we survived and had a good time. i've never been on a really big ship so the fact that the empress of the seas is a rather small ship didn't bother me in the least. the cabins are the usual size and there were plenty of clubs and lounges and spaces to just sit and relax (library, game room, various spots around the atrium). i thought the food was very good. only one misstep with the vegetable pot pie - a bit bland. the lamb shank was fantastic. the buffet was fine as well. it must have been laid out pretty well because it didn't seem very crowded. the cabin staff were fine. got my dry cleaning right on time, got our towel animal the second night, unobtrusive but friendly. the activities staff was great, seemed to see the same two people the whole time. the waitstaff - jane and abdul - were fantastic. getting us in and out in time to get to shows or whatnot, helping with a gluten allergy, and generally being fun and cheerful. we had a bit of a mixup with our dining room seating assignment. there were originally 8 people in our group and then another 2 joined about a month out. i called cruise.com to make sure these last 2 folks were connected to our reservation and would be able to sit at our table. the travel agent then called royal caribbean and we were both on hold for an hour - no lie! finally the TA came back on the line and said we were all set. once on board the boat however, those last two folks had a different table on their seapass cards. i went to the dining room early to fix it. LOTS of confusion, we were led to two different tables that were wrong, communication between the guys in charge at the entrance to the dining room and the wait staff was non-existent. very long story short, it all worked out in the end but it was stressful and embarrassing and a lousy way to start a cruise. so aside from that dining room hiccup the first night, we had a great time. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We had never cruised with RC previously and picked this short 4 day cruise as a way to visit Key West & the Bahamas. The price was a big factor until we got on board and found out that it was really a base price and basics such as ... Read More
We had never cruised with RC previously and picked this short 4 day cruise as a way to visit Key West & the Bahamas. The price was a big factor until we got on board and found out that it was really a base price and basics such as internet access were add on's. The beverage package offerings were very misleading. When booking you are offered a Deluxe (alcohol included), Standard (soda, coffee, water) & Soda only packages. You are not told that you can get soda, coffee & water at the buffet at no additional cost. Upon arrival the ship was delayed due to weather. We were herded into a waiting area for over 2 hours. When it was time to board, there was no clear direction & people just gridlocked trying to get on. The Room staff was great. The bathroom was older & worn. Basics such as tissues & shampoo/conditioner were not provided. I'm not even sure if a blow dryer was provided. The buffet had a decent selection. Items such as eggs were always cold. The buffet has an entrance on each end and does not have the same items on both sides. This caused chaos when people would meet at the middle and not know how to proceed as the lines coming from both directions would then overlap. People are often not polite when not provided logical direction. The food at the main dining room was hit or miss. The lamb was outstanding, the steak so-so and the fish hit or miss. Hollandaise sauce served at multiple meals was disgusting. The Waiter & Asst Waiter would only handle requests specific to their individual role. For example when the Waiter was asked to bring another beverage we were told we had to ask the Asst Waiter. When the Asst Waiter was asked questions regarding the meal, we were told we needed to ask the main waiter. The entertainment was excellent though timing of the shows did not work with either dining option. The casino attendant seemed inconvenienced when asked to assist with activating the $5 ship credit. There are two tiny pools and three 6 person hot tubs that were all always overcrowded. Shore excursions were obscenely overpriced. A beach excursion to their island was $69 PP with no food or beverages included. The itinerary was changed multiple times with little to no communication. People who had pre-booked excursions with other vendors had issues with the multiple changes. The departure process sealed our experience. We chose self check out and again were herded into a long line. It took over 45 mins to get to the gangplank. At the checkpoint my husband was told he had a message at Guest Services. We were then put into another line, waiting another 30+ mins. When we were finally assisted, the issue was they wanted to know if the credit card we put on file should apply to both people in the room. We had entered this information during the on line check in process and confirmed during the initial boarding check in. Nothing was noted on our bill that indicated there was an issue. The staff person processed the payment, slid a piece of paper towards my husband with no words. When we asked if we were all set, he responded "yup". The entire departure process took over 3 hours. With the age & condition of this ship, the service & amenities need to be outstanding to entice people to return. At this time, I would not recommend new or seasoned cruisers to utilize the Empress of the Seas for a cruising experience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Overall service was very poor - lack of communication at embarkment caused over 1-2hr delay getting on board. People were packed into a large room for hours waiting to get onboard. Itinerary was changed prior to sailing then was changed ... Read More
Overall service was very poor - lack of communication at embarkment caused over 1-2hr delay getting on board. People were packed into a large room for hours waiting to get onboard. Itinerary was changed prior to sailing then was changed when we got underway. We were lucky we did not have set plans at any port. The main dining room food was served cold and staff were very rude. The cabin steward only made the bed and changed towels. The shows were poor- Celine Dion impersonator-really! The comedian was good and kept the audience laughing. Waited over 1hr with our luggage to disembark and was told it "the gangway was moving because of the wind." Found out they had the gangway installed wrong. When my brother-in-law (his first cruise) and his spouse were disembarking they were told to see guest services - only to find out his account was not "linked' with his spouse - they shared the same room with the same last name for 3 nights - they waited until then to say they were not "linked" with the credit card. They were very embarrassed to say the least. Then they only had 2 Customs agents working - lines everywhere! Do not recommend this cruise to anyone - staff needs to be retrained and ship needs updating. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
This itinerary was a perfect short getaway to some familiar ports. Cruise left Miami headed to Key West and Nassau. Die to sea conditions they rearranged the ports of call as ships were unable to make the port in Nassau of the Saturday. ... Read More
This itinerary was a perfect short getaway to some familiar ports. Cruise left Miami headed to Key West and Nassau. Die to sea conditions they rearranged the ports of call as ships were unable to make the port in Nassau of the Saturday. Empress is a fantastic ship with a great crew and well maintained facilities. We have cruised several other ships and I consider Empress to be one of my favorite. Embarkation was delayed due to the ship getting to Miami late however this was not very well communicated while waiting in the terminal. Main Dining menu was good, and service too. We too advantage of Chops for specialty dining and the quality of food and service did not disappoint. Windjammer was incredibly busy after embarkation due to the late time, however the rest of the cruise we found things much better. For the first time we took advantage of self disembark and were able to get from ship to airport about 40 minutes after they called for self assist to leave. We will definitely cruise on Empress again! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Depressing and old ship, the service was terrible the bartenders and one Asian guy serving the burgers who basically through us a food we don't understand how a person like that works in a cruise. Thank God our waiter at the restaurant ... Read More
Depressing and old ship, the service was terrible the bartenders and one Asian guy serving the burgers who basically through us a food we don't understand how a person like that works in a cruise. Thank God our waiter at the restaurant (Mario) was very friendly because if it wasn't for him we wouldn't have anything positive to say about the service. The quality of the food in general is horrible. There was only one show (living in America) which by the way was very good. The Latin band not organized, always starting late and didn't have a program to follow they improvised all the time. The smoking areas were in the middle of the ship in the bar next to the casino an area too big and impossible to avoid. the pool area also people smoking. We don't recommend this ship to anybody and never returning to this ship again. Read Less

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