Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
twangster

Empress B2B - 14 Nights on the Biggest Little Ship

Recommended Posts

   I enjoyed reading what you have written about the Empress. From your photos, I have to agree that she is a pretty ship. It reminds me of the NCL Dreamward that we sailed on to Bermuda in the early ‘90’s. We were able to dock at St George’s and Hamilton then.

     The Empress looks to be in great shape. Have you noticed any evidence of mold or mildew on the ship ?

      I did a dummy booking for a Junior Suite,midship, deck 8. I am thinking that is a good deck location because there are cabins above and below on decks 9 and 7.

Would you recommend that location?

Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
52 minutes ago, MJSailors said:

     The Empress looks to be in great shape. Have you noticed any evidence of mold or mildew on the ship ?

   

  I did a dummy booking for a Junior Suite,midship, deck 8. I am thinking that is a good deck location because there are cabins above and below on decks 9 and 7.

Would you recommend that location?

 

I have not noticed any mold or mildew.  

 

The bathroom is dated make no mistake, but it's clean.  While they have refreshed a lot of areas around the ship the cabin bathrooms remain the same as it has for years.  Don't mistake old bathroom decor for unsafe or unsanitary conditions.

 

zRcr25E.jpg

 

tFyniML.jpg

 

Does deck 8 have midship Junior Suites?  I only see one JS on deck 8 that is an aft J4 Junior Suite.  

 

I think the only side facing midship balconies are on deck 9, J3 Junior Suites.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

   Thank you for your reply and photos.

The bathroom does look clean despite having a bit dated decor.

That is okay for us as we have sailed on some older ships - QE2 in 2001, the Summit in 2011 and 2018 and the Caribbean Princess a few years ago. No problem for us with older ships that are kept in good condition. 

      As to available balconies, we have not sailed on RCCL. So, I am not familiar with cabin categories or locations. The dummy booking I did for a Bermuda sailing, put us in a JS on deck 9. I was concerned that the cabins were under the pool deck. Than I looked for JS cabins on deck 8 and the screen showed a mid ship location. But, when I look at your exterior photos of the ship,the only balconies seem to be located in the Aft.

       So, I am a bit confused !

If we become serious about booking a cruise on the Empress for 2021, I will call RCCL and while looking at the deck plan on my iPad, I will question the rep so that I know what I am booking.

            I do hope RCCL will keep the Empress in NJ for the Bermuda and NE/Canadian cruises for a few years. Cape Liberty is a no- fly,convenient port for us.

From what I have seen on CC, the renovations made on the Summit do not seem to be our style and we do not care to sail NCL or Carnival even though some of  their  ships are berthed in NYC.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your photos are extraordinary!!!  Shooting in raw, you must spend a lot of time perfecting them.  Do you also play with HDR?  Thank you for your comprehensive review!

 

Edited by MindyJohn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great “live from”! Your picture was incredible of the Milky Way, and I appreciated you sharing the level of gear it takes to get a shot like that, so people don’t think it’s realistic with amateur equipment. The storm pic was also interesting. Happy cruising!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for this brilliant review. We were considering the Empress but worried about her size. After reading this we’ve just booked a B2B for next year.

 

As a Diamond members could you confirm there is breakfast in the main dinning room please ? 

 

Any advice greatly welcomed.

 

THANKS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for this great review. We are cruising Empress in January - have not been on RC in years.  Thank you for including pics and comments for smoking - we have one smoker and he approves of the smoking area per your pics.  Did'nt know could get extra points for JR suite - wish I had known before booking.  Thanks for the fanastic review.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your review.  We plan to book the Empress for the Key West, Belize itinerary.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/25/2019 at 1:49 PM, twangster said:

 

I have not noticed any mold or mildew.  

 

The bathroom is dated make no mistake, but it's clean.  While they have refreshed a lot of areas around the ship the cabin bathrooms remain the same as it has for years.  Don't mistake old bathroom decor for unsafe or unsanitary conditions.

 

zRcr25E.jpg

 

tFyniML.jpg

 

Does deck 8 have midship Junior Suites?  I only see one JS on deck 8 that is an aft J4 Junior Suite.  

 

I think the only side facing midship balconies are on deck 9, J3 Junior Suites.

 

Wow !!! What a review from Twangster .It was very imformative ,I believe you covered everything  .The photo's are amazing.        I admire someone like you as I myself love information and detail .We have been on many cruises and many cruise lines but have not traveled on Royal Caribbean .Except 2 /four nights out of Port Canaveral .Not many perks for us on this ship ,as we are on the top of other cruise lines ,however now we will be doing shorter cruisers close to the US ,so we can begin to build them .We have done 70 ,75 and 89 day Grand Voyages as well as some not as long through other places in the world. 

At this point we have been on all 5  continent's and have seen quite a bit of the world .We are getting older and except a few countries ,or adventures still on my bucket list ,will be exploring the Caribbean more .With that said I truly enjoyed ALL of your blog .I want to compliment you in this effort to help others .We are doing A BTB beginning October 17 -November 2nd 2019 Western & Eastern on the Empress .A bit dissapointed about Cuba but I know we will enjoy it immensely as you have provided us with proir knowledge to our journey .Thank You Ever so Much .

Patricia Lee 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks to your review and the itinerary, we have booked this cruise for  January, 2021.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have Empress booked for 12/2020. Amazed at the wonderful information you imparted to us! Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the review.  We will be boarding on November 15th so I was excited to read this review.  Great pictures and a lot of good information.  I was wondering about the internet speeds and you have been helpful with the screenshots

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/30/2019 at 9:47 PM, twangster said:

Earlier I mentioned an invitation to the Hotel Director's Table for dinner.  With only two Pinnacles on board I managed to make the cut.

 

CApLQmw.jpg

 

We met the Hotel Director Julie and Guest Services Manager Jorge where we enjoyed a beverage in the lounge by the Schooner Bar.  Shortly after we were led to the Captain's Table in the main dining room.

 

YopwhAU.jpg

 

Our menu for tonight:

 

mA3H8Cy.jpg

 

The meal was excellent and the conversation with fellow guests, Julie and Jorge was wonderful and engaging.  So much so that I forgot to take any more pictures.

 

Julie and Jorge have a lot of experience and time with Royal Caribbean and it was very interesting to hear their stories from over the years.

 

Jorge is the voice over the PA for many announcements such as "The ship has been cleared by local authorities and you are welcome to go ashore on deck....".  I also caught an announcement back on the day 1 of the 2nd leg that at the time made me go "hmmm".  Jorge will address the crew over the PA before general boarding starts but since I was a consecutive cruiser I caught the announcement.  Since Julie is from the UK Jorge specifically called out the number of UK guests coming on board and made another humorous related comment.  Tonight Jorge explained he does these little off the wall comments to make sure the crew is paying attention and engaged.  It's a long running thing he does every week and the crew will pay attention each week to what little quirky thing he'll throw in this time.  It's all in good fun and a great way to keep the crew happy and engaged. 

 

Julie is the third female Hotel Director in the fleet and she has done an amazing job here on Empress.  Sitting next to her at dinner I asked about her rise to Hotel Director and being in this role as a female.  She is very proud of her accomplishment and clearly has earned it.   It's great to see Royal Caribbean advancing more women into senior positions.

 

After an incredible dessert we were presented with a memento of the occasion. 

 

B6aZ27D.jpg

 

pw7IR6D.jpg

 

Julie and Jorge are both nearing the end of the current contracts with just two more sailings to go, but they'll be coming back.

 

The future of Empress was discussed and there will be an announcement very soon with some new and different itineraries for Empress.  She isn't going anywhere just yet and they are taking advantage of her small size to return to some more interesting destinations that larger ships can't visit.  Out of respect I won't say more but I'll be keeping an eye out for them very soon and I know I'll be booking more cruises on Empress.

 

Wow!  What an amazing evening!  Loyalty does have it's rewards.

 

Thanks for such an awesome review.  I really appreciate the fact that you are so respectful of people's privacy.  It's gotten to the point now where I won't allow my photo to be taken because its been published without my permission.  Somehow everyone seems to think nowdays that they have a right to your image and information and if you protest you are somehow the baddie.  I absolutely love your photographs and your quirky commentary and observations. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all this information.  I have been on the Serenade, Grandeur, Anthem, Navigator, & Oasis.  I enjoy all size ships as you can see.  

 

I am booked for May 11, 2020 to Bermuda (St George & Hamilton) on the Empress.  This will be my first cruise as Diamond. 

 

My addiction on cruises is the soft ice cream.  Do they have that on Empress?  If so, where?

 

Does the library carry daily word, sudoku, & trivia games?  (another addiction)

 

It took me quite a while to read all this thread, about 2 hours.  I'd better go to bed now.

Edited by PTAngel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, PTAngel said:

Thanks for all this information.  I have been on the Serenade, Grandeur, Anthem, Navigator, & Oasis.  I enjoy all size ships as you can see.  

 

I am booked for May 11, 2020 to Bermuda (St George & Hamilton) on the Empress.  This will be my first cruise as Diamond. 

 

My addiction on cruises is the soft ice cream.  Do they have that on Empress?  If so, where?

 

Does the library carry daily word, sudoku, & trivia games?  (another addiction)

 

It took me quite a while to read all this thread, about 2 hours.  I'd better go to bed now.

Yes, they had soft ice cream outside by the pool on deck 10.   The first part of the cruise they had vanilla and chocolate but at the end they broke out the strawberry!!   Since the Empress is so small when the Windjammer is closed the ice cream is the only free option - not that I ever went hungry.    We loved the Empress and would sail on her again in a heart beat.

 

The library had daily word and soduku and they cruise staff held trivia several times a day usually in the Schooner lounge.

 

It would be really neat to be able to sail into St. George - we've only docked at King's Wharf and taken the ferry to both St. George and Hamilton.   Enjoy your cruise!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Gaynors said:

Yes, they had soft ice cream outside by the pool on deck 10.   The first part of the cruise they had vanilla and chocolate but at the end they broke out the strawberry!!   Since the Empress is so small when the Windjammer is closed the ice cream is the only free option - not that I ever went hungry.    We loved the Empress and would sail on her again in a heart beat.

 

The library had daily word and soduku and they cruise staff held trivia several times a day usually in the Schooner lounge.

 

It would be really neat to be able to sail into St. George - we've only docked at King's Wharf and taken the ferry to both St. George and Hamilton.   Enjoy your cruise!!

Whew, that's a relief!  I hadn't heard anything about ice cream.  Sailing into St George & Hamilton is what really attracted me to this cruise.  I've only been once to Bermuda & it docked at King's Wharf.  I took a private tour that included St George & I was hooked on that.  

 

Thanks, Gaynors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter Now for a Chance to Win a 7-day Cruise for Two
      • Q&A with InsureMyTrip
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...