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Found 166 results

  1. Hi We're thinking of doing a 7 night Empress cruise next year and have read that there are no Diamond or Concierge lounges on the ship. I know we'll get our 3 drink coupons as D+members, however will miss my free cappuccinos in the lounge and the continental breakfast somewhere quiet. Does RCI give any additional extras to make up for the lack of lounge etc?
  2. Hi! I just booked my first Royal Caribbean Cruise on Mar. 29 , 2020 for my daughter (will be 9), and myself. (single mom, 46). I have cruised 3 times on Carnival (between 1995 and 2004....all three were adult, no kids, girls trips!). My daughter has been on two cruises in the past three years: Disney Magic (4 nights) and Disney Dream (3 nights). We love cruises. My daughter said they were the best vacations EVER! Disney is the best ever, and I didn't mind one penny I spent. However, I'm not a Disney snob...because I LOVE cruises and vacation in general. So! I decided to go Royal or Caribbean this time to give my wallet a break and to enjoy a few extra days. This will be a 6 night to KW (my HAPPY PLACE!), Cozumel, and Perfect Day at Coco Cay. I chose it because of the itinerary and price. Every single cruise I have gone on is Bahamas, and I do not want to go to Nassau again! I also love private islands! LOL (Castaway Cay has spoiled me. I really like private islands.) I also chose inside stateroom because I honestly just need a place to sleep. It's a 3rd deck, mid ship room. With that said...now I'm freaking out because of some of the reviews I've read. I don't want to be on a stinky boat! I don't mind small. I really don't think I would like one of those monster 4,000 people ships. On the last two Disney trips, I didn't even get in the pool on the boat. (maybe stuck my feet in). All I need is a mai tai or mimosa, my book, and a deck chair while my daughter plays in the pool or is in the kids club. I'll enjoy my pool/beach days on our stops at KW, Cozumel, and Coco Cay. My daughter does like the pool and smaller slides. So while I hate there isn't a smaller slide or aqua duck she can ride with me, those monster slides wouldn't be up her alley anyways! I just enjoy relaxing. I LOVE eating though I only eat at the places included...main dining room, buffet. I'm not a shopper. I would like to take advantage of a spa service (couldn't do that on Disney. All my money went to the cruise! haha) So, I guess my main questions are: 1. Is it really stinky? 2. Is it TOO small of a boat? (Again. I think a skating rink on a cruise ship is about the dumbest thing I have ever heard of! LMFAO! But to each their own.) 2. Is this a good boat for a 9 year old? (she likes to sleep in, watch a movie or two, isn't a big eater so could care less about the food as long as she gets ice cream daily, has a good kids club and has a pool to get in some)? 3. How is the 9-11 kids club on the Empress? 4. Should I change boats? (the bad reviews are freaking me out!) If so, what would you suggest? Thanks so much! Sorry if I'm rambling! Shelby
  3. A group of 3 couples are making plans for our next cruise together, and we are hoping to know if the balconies on Vision of the Seas (or Explorer OTS, or Empress OTS) can be opened up between cabins that are side-by-side? We'd love to be able to have one big balcony, and I've heard that some people have been able to do that. So far, it has not been physically even possible on the ships we've cruised. Look forward to hearing from any of you who know about this possibility. Thanks!
  4. Although I have been fortunate to have been on a few dozen cruises, I haven't sailed with RCI since the days of the Nordic Prince and the company was still RCCL. That will be changing next week when my hubby and I board the EMPRESS OF THE SEAS for the non Cuba cruise. Cruising has changed so much in the last few years so I have a few RCI/Empress questions that I know y'all can answer, especially concerning the staterooms. We are in an interior. What amenities are in the bathroom? Bar of soap? Do they have 'real' bottles of shampoo and conditioner or the dispenser that's in the shower and has the shampoo/conditioner all in one? Is there hand lotion? Is there a safe in the room? How about a refrigerator? Can you get fresh ice everyday? Can I get a bathrobe? We can just wing most everything but for some reasons these seem to be my most 'pressing' questions. Looking forward to check out RCI once again and to be on the high seas. Thank you for you responses, I can always count on cruise critic!
  5. If I book Empress, do I want to be forward or aft and why? Which decks do I want to look at? The cabins are small so I’d like to have good access to the public areas. One one of the larger RCL ships I would typically be booking aft near the elevators because of the WJ, dining, and Viking Crown.
  6. I fly to Miami Saturday evening and will board the Empress for a 6 night getaway to Key West, Costa Maya, and Cozumel. This was (for me) something of a last minute booking, just a couple of months ago. My style is a bit different than many, I will normally post just once a day unless something unusual, and my style tends to be narrative more than pictorial. This thread will be a companion to my blog (http://getawaysfrom21044,wordpress.com) which will also be the hosting site for my photos, and at the top of the page are tabs to pages with Compass and menus. A bit about me. I’m pretty much an out of control, sailing on several lines, but mostly Crystal, Cunard, Holland America, and to a lesser extent Royal. My totals for this year will be 94 days HAL, 33 Crystal, 26 Cunard, and 6 Royal. My Royal activity has been mostly out of Baltimore (Enchantment and then Grandeur), but I’ve also sailed Allure, Anthem, Monarch, Jewel, and Radiance (not yet on the mid-size ships). I tend to prefer smaller ships although amenities and service are also important. I’m a bit unsure of the Empress as although my 3 favorite ships (Crystal Serenity, Crystal Symphony, and Prinsendam) are roughly the same size the Empress carries more people than any 2 of them combined. I hear she isn’t crowded and hope that will be true; I really like her Bermuda itineraries next year. This will be my first cruise as D+. I welcome questions although it may take me a little while to respond. I also invite any of my roll call members to add their perspectives to the thread. Roy
  7. Afternoon all I found a delightful itinerary on Empress, but worry about the small OV cabins (we're accustomed to at least a balcony- but we are priced out of the suites on this sailing) w/ those pesky upper pullman boxes. We prefer small ships, so we aren't worried about the ship size... but want to hear from the Empress regulars! Any highlights or lowlights we should know about the ship? Thanks a bunch!
  8. I wasn't sure I would post this trip live but Empress is secret favorite of mine and she doesn't get much attention here. Empress is a small ship yet she doesn't feel small on board, as long as you pick the right cabin. In the wake of the abrupt Cuba changes fares have been very reasonable including Junior Suite rates. On a small ship the added space and balcony of a Junior Suite goes a long way to not feeling the size of the ship. It's also the only to have a balcony. The fact that cruising solo in a suite will net me triple Crown and Anchor points wasn't lost on me. That's a whopping 42 points for the price of a 7 night cruise in a balcony on an Oasis class ship. Since I'm flying to the ship I always prefer a B2B. If I'm coming all this way I might as well cruise twice. I thoroughly enjoyed my last Empress cruise so given the great last minute rates and affordable suites I couldn't pass up the opportunity to sail this little beauty again. Itinerary 1 - 6 nights Key West, Costa Maya, Cozumel Itinerary 2 - 8 nights Key West, Costa Maya, Belize, Cozumel, CocoCay I like to scuba dive so the opportunity to visit Belize again was appealing. This will also be my first trip to see the new Perfect Day additions. Cozumel is a perennial favorite as is Key West. Costa Maya is also an easy port to spend a day at. Put it all together and the answer computed to... YOLO, why not? I am going to take a more relaxed approach to posting this one. It is after all a small ship and I've got two weeks to spread my posts over so I may not be as active on this one as I have on other cruises.
  9. Hi all, Tried to find thread that talked about Empress / Happy Hour - without success. Understand there is no D Lounge but do they have a designated place for Happy Hour? Thanks! NJ
  10. One person posted last week from the Empress that he was informed there would be a short dry dock to fix the stabilizers. Anybody have anything further on this ? I remember when the Navigator was having a stabilizer problem that became bad enough that they cut it off while docked.
  11. I'm kinda thinking about this 8-day Eastern Caribbean itinerary out of Miami. It's a pretty good one. I've never been to Virgin Gorda. I guess the Empress is the smallest and oldest ship currently in Royal Caribbeans fleet. What y'all think about it? Would you do it? Would get a OS. I guess the aft ones would be the way to go? I'd appreciate any info you could give me for those that have been on the Empress. Thanks!
  12. We are taking our girls, age 8 and 6 on a surprise spring break cruise. We will be sailing Mar 29, 2020 on the Empress. I did not do very much research into the ship before booking because the price was too good to be true for our 6 nights with a family of 4. Being that this is a smaller ship, how have the kids club been on the latest sailings? Have there been enough kids for them to make friends? I hope that they will love the club like our last cruise.
  13. Considering an Empress Fall cruise. Being the oldest ship in RCLs fleet, a few questions: 1. How are the stabilizers? Does the ship rock & roll. Never had trouble on the big newer ships but you never know on an older ship. 2. Outside cabins. Are there any cabins that is a little bigger because of placement on the ship? Also, I assume lower would be better. 3. Diamond Club .... Is there a DC and if not what accommodations are made? Thanks .... E
  14. I can understand why there isn't really any excursions showing since we are still 303 days out but I expected the drink packages to be open for purchase. Can anyone hazard a guess as to why I can't buy them now?
  15. Thinking about booking Empress. My question is what do they do for the Diamond and Diamond plus people with no Diamond lounge?
  16. Hi all. Just off the extended Empress cruise where we hit every major cruise port in the Western Caribbean (except Ocho Rios). Detailed review to follow, but the TL;DR is "Fantastic Time, great food, amazing crew, teeny weeny cabins, surly Guest Services staff, but overall a super effort under trying circumstances." While I'm putting the review together, feel free to AMA.
  17. I think there is not a dedicated Diamond Lounge on Empress so how will the morning Specialty Coffee and other tasty snacks be available? Thanks E
  18. We booked at 7 night cruise on Empress of the Seas. "We" are a couple with a daughter who will be 18 at the time of sailing (July 2020) I was attracted last night (8/31/19) on the RC website by a "flash sale". Additional $50 off AND the usual BOGO So I booked a 7 night cruise to Bermuda....inner stateroom.....I prepaid the gratuities....and my Out the Door price was $2,499 That's really good I think! So that was really spontaneous of me. I didn't know anything about the ship (Empress of the Seas)....I just knew it was Royal C...which is always good...and it was departing from our local port in Cape Liberty NJ. Just an hour and 15 minute drive from our home. * * Finally my question.... MY REGRET IS THAT ONLY AFTER BOOKING DID I DISCOVER THIS SHIP HAS NO TEEN CLUB. 😞 Does anyone know if there is ANY method by which the teens can meet each other besides awkwardly saying: "Hi my name is (fill in)...what's yours?"
  19. As some know from my other thread, I booked an inner stateroom on Empress of the Seas for my family of three. The Royal Caribbean website said that there are two pullman beds in the room and the room allows for up to 4 people. I didn't know that it was a room with only 117 sq ft. I just figured that this was Royal C and all inner staterooms would be basically the same from ship to ship. The beds are not the problem, correct? The beds are the same size as any other ship. The problem is probably where to put our stuff. IF we kept this room, even though most readers wouldn't advise it.....IF we kept this room, would there be any place for our suitcases? If we had 2 suitcases and we just lived out of those....could we just walk carefully around them and just use the room for sleep and shower? Just spend the entire cruise out and about. COULD we keep this room and patiently work together as a family to get thru the week using it only for sleeping, showering and changing? Note: We put a $750 deposit and it was explained to me on another thread that canceling our reservation would cost us $100 per person (so my family of 3 would lose $300)
  20. My wife and I are booked on a December, 2019 7 day Empress Western Caribbean cruise. I was wondering now that Empress no longer goes to Cuba, does she still offer the "everyday brunch" with free Mimosas? Would appreciate info from anyone who cruised on her recently Thank you
  21. Headed back to Harmony today. Our first time on her out of Port Canaveral, and the first time on her since the 2018 President's Cruise. Eastern Caribbean with Coco Cay, St Thomas, and St Maarten Hopefully the VOOM (O3B Stream) will keep up
  22. In the words as sung by Britney Spears... 🎵 Oops, I Did it Again 🎵 For those who are wondering what is he talking about? (or thinking I've enjoyed one too many happy hour drinks) I just finished 14 nights on this little beauty last week. You can read about that B2B experience here: https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2681739-empress-b2b-14-nights-on-the-biggest-little-ship/ Those cruises were great but they were Western Caribbean and this 8 night cruise is Eastern Caribbean including a stop at Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Royal hasn't visited the BVI very much in recent years so when I saw the BVI added to the itinerary in the wake of the Cuba cancellations I knew I had to do it. Icing on my cake comes courtesy of another visit to Perfect Day at CocoCay. Itinerary Miami Perfect Day at CocoCay Sea Day San Juan Tortola St Thomas Sea Day Sea Day Miami Our Perfect Day ends at 2pm so we can make it to San Juan for a 3pm arrival after a day at sea. We stay until midnight in San Juan so if all goes well I hope to get some evening and night pictures around San Juan. Sailing in a Junior Suite I have scored one of the most forward deck 9 JS cabins this time. I love this small ship and her big heart. It's a good thing I love this ship because this will be my fourth cruise on her. My Crown and Anchor points haven't been posted yet from my last cruise on her so with the "paint still wet", I'm heading back to the love of my life, or at least the love of my life right now. Because I'm flying I don't like taking just one cruise so with a night off the water in between, I'm doing a side-to-side over to Majesty right after this cruise. A few years ago I started dreaming about a tour of the small ships and this marks another step towards completing that goal. I think I set a record this time having packed my suitcase a full two days before the cruise. Basically I took my cruise clothes from the dryer and put them right back into my suitcase. " You see my problem is this I'm dreaming away Wishing that heroes, they truly exist I cry, watching the days Can't you see I'm a fool in so many ways But to lose all my senses That is just so typically me Oh baby, oh " Okay that doesn't make total sense but it's the only part of the lyrics that somewhat fit so I'm going with it.
  23. I just booked the husband and I on a 6 night cruise on Empress in March 2020 going to a couple of places we have never been (Costa Maya and Key West). The price was very good and I was looking for a short cruise for the late winter/early spring months so even though this was 6 days instead of 4 or 5 I jumped on it anyway. After booking I started reading some reviews saying that Empress may have seen better days, much better days, and she was showing way too much age, etc. Now normally I would have researched a cruise and ship and ports to death before booking but this one just kind of fell into my lap so I did not read anything until after I booked and I am worried I may have made a mistake. Any comments on Empress? We do cruise the larger ships often but really just look for relaxation, some shows, some trivia and the Schooner of course 🙂
  24. Hi! We are booked on Empress of the Seas for an 8 day cruise on Aug 24th. The stops include Key West, Costa Maya, Cozumel, Belize, Coco Cay. Does anyone who has been on the Empress recently have a copy of the daily planner and/or menus? Trying to see when the shows are and what the menu is so we can plan the steakhouse for one night. We were on the Empress last year to Cuba and are excited to be back on her!!
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