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We LOVED Cuba (and will return) but we were not fond of Empress and would not sail it again despite a great crew.

 

We were in a deck 7 interior that had multiple air conditioning problems - sweltering hot to arctic cold and 4 trips to Guest Services to resolve, mostly.  Our bathroom faucet was broken with jagged metal present we had no hot water in the sink - both of which took 2 days to resolve.

 

My Time Dining was very disorganized each night and took forever to be served.  The Windjammer was difficult to navigate due to its weird, congested design near the drink dispensers.

 

We had no problem with the size of our cabin as we travel light and almost always in interiors.  The closet was the smallest we have ever seen but with few belongings it was okay for us. 

 

Sewer smells abounded all over the ship and public restrooms were unkempt.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, twangster said:

 

 a wonderful 'classic' cruise experience. 

 

^^^^ Yes!!  Sounds great!

 

We are very excited to go on our very first Oasis cruise in July for my daughter's graduation trip. But I realized just a few weeks ago that my idea of "cruising" had changed.  My first cruise was quite a few years ago on the NCL Windward. It was everything I had hoped it would be. It was, as you say, a classic cruise.  NCL was so different back then.  In researching the cruise, I remember looking at Carnival and all that neon. I was thinking that if I wanted a Vegas experience, I would go to Vegas. After that first cruise, bigger balcony ships became the norm. Then more ships with slides and so forth followed.  Somewhere along the way, I got caught up in all the big ship excitement.  I can hardly wait for our big family trip on Harmony. But I think a nice relaxing cruise would be great.  It is what hooked me in the first place.

 

Edited by luv2sailAgain

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Our first cruise experience was on the Empress. It was called the Nordic Empress in 1994. 70 cruises since then. That ship got us hooked. We did our first three cruises on it in two months. Plus several more. Always loved it. A small but super nice ship. The buffet is excellent and the layout is great. Old but not forgotten. A bit bumpy in bad weather because of the size of the ship. Just a lot of fun to try and walk. I  hope you will enjoy that ship as much as we did. Happy cruising.

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1 hour ago, twodaywonder said:

Our first cruise experience was on the Empress. It was called the Nordic Empress in 1994. 70 cruises since then. That ship got us hooked. We did our first three cruises on it in two months. Plus several more. Always loved it. A small but super nice ship. The buffet is excellent and the layout is great. Old but not forgotten. A bit bumpy in bad weather because of the size of the ship. Just a lot of fun to try and walk. I  hope you will enjoy that ship as much as we did. Happy cruising.

We only sailed on Empress once and it was after she returned to the fleet and had a major overhaul....but the 'cuteness' of the ship cannot be denied.  What she lacks that her bigger (much bigger) sister ships have, she makes up for in charm and generally a terrific staff....and we surely had a terrific staff when we sailed on her.

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We just did this trip last month. The ship was ok, we did notice a musty/ mildew smell in the casino. We also had a night (literally middle of the night) where there was a vacuum issue and our toilet wouldn't flush. But otherwise the ship was ok. And we were far more interested in the destination. 

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Yes the inside and OV and balcony cabins are smaller than regular cabins on other cruise lines. Correct about 30 sq.ft. Please remember, sleep and change and leave. A small ship but a lot of public space for the size. A fantastic great comfortable ship and very good food. A fun ship and as mentioned. Because of the small crew you get to know just about all of them. I will make this short because I could go on and on. Our first cruise 1994 was on then the Nordic Empress. Three cruises in two months on it. We became family. One waiter even drove to my home to say hi. 120 mile drive one way. At that time the dining room food was excellent. The steaks were top notch. Things change. Trying to keep the cruise prices down by doing the specialty dining for the great steaks and more. So the ship went to the yards and came out the Empress of the Seas. As is your first love. We will always cherish that ship.

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She's big enough, she's good enough, and gosh darn it, I love her. We go on the big ships all the time, but a little ship like Empress is just a fun change of pace. Plus you're going to Havana, so it gets you into the mood of 50's cars and Tropicana nightclubs. I suffer from horrible motion sickness, but 90 miles from Key West... No Problems.   The big ships break down (or crash into each other) all the time... but Empress just keeps chugging along.  

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Been on her twice and love both cruises. She really has a great vibe - better than some of the larger ones in the fleet.

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On 5/3/2019 at 3:06 AM, Sancho_proudfoot said:

I think you can delete " dirty, stinky" from your views. I have never encountered a dirty (or stinky) RCL ship.

Deck 7 AFT on Navigator was dirty and stinky in the halls till it's recent dry dock.  Hubby sailed her again after the dry dock and went there to verify it is no longer dirty and stinky.

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