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Would you sail on Empress after Odyssey?

Extra Kim

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4 hours ago, kcamp317 said:

 Another thing I noticed was the smooth ride.   I was expecting that since it was a small ship the waves and swells would be noticed much more but it was very stable.

The second time we sailed on Empress (to Cuba), we had a great, smooth sailing. But the first time I sailed on her, it was terrible.


We were sailing between Catalina Island and San Juan and it got very choppy, to the point where I started to feel nauseous (and I never do). The ship was rocking and rolling pretty intensely. We had a midship mini suite, so I grabbed my pillow and went out to the balcony to catch some fresh air and to battle the motion sickness. But even though we were pretty high up on deck 9, I was getting sprayed every time that ship hit a wave. I felt like I was on the front row at the Shamu show at Sea World. 😂 I’ve never had a balcony where the spray from the waves would reach that high.  So it was either be seasick, or be wet. I chose wet! I walked back in once I started feeling better and my wife looked at me with a “what the heck happened to you??” look. It was one of the many fun anecdotes we have from that cruise, which was also part of our honeymoon. 

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20 hours ago, Extra Kim said:

She have two ports of call that I haven't seen on any other RC ship, Virgin Gorda and Puerto Plata. The other two are San Juan and St Thomas, we like St Thomas but San Juan feels like "been there, done that".

We are looking at this itinerary as well.

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I sailed Anthem last October (adding this since you asked specifically about Quantum class, Brilliance in February, Symphony (largest at the time) in May and then an 8 day on Empress in mid-September.


I was a little nervous how I would feel going from all there is to do on Symphony all the way down to Empress in under four months and I want to say that I LOVED Empress! One of my favorite cruises to date, actually since the staff was SO AMAZING. I did have to adjust to such a small room and only having the Windjammer open most of the time when sometimes I just wanted a grab and go snack in my bathing suit but it was a small cost to me. I look forward to possibly sailing her again. I wish they had brought her back to Tampa for year round 3 and 4 day sailings since I think we are lacking that here.


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Next year we will probably sail Grandeur, Empress, Anthem and Oasis(or Celebrity Summit).

We sailed on all RCI classes except Sovereign and Empress, as well as on most classes of many other companies.

I realize that Empress will be very different, but as our Grandeur experience shows we need nice ambiance, promenade where we can watch sea, adequate food (RCI is not the best in this department, but adequate), gym (I know it is far from good, but I will come up with something), pool, shuffle board...

Unfortunately we will miss Diamond lounge, and there will be only 3 drinks instead of it.


However 3 nights in Bermuda we only had once on Summit this year and due to Grandeur having problems sailing out of Baltimore. Hamilton and St George's are wonderful!

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I'm sailing on Empress next April and am really looking forward to it.  I've been on Allure and Symphony, which I loved, but I also really loved Grandeur, Enchantment and Brilliance so I expect to love Empress as well.  

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I would not sail Empress again, regardless of circumstances.


Our trip on Empress was full of sewage smells (well-documented in reviews), broken cabin bathroom fixtures and air conditioning, very disorganized My Time dining, poor clean-up for norovirus mishaps on the stairs and near the elevators, etc.   Cuba was very impressive and we will return.   Empress, for us, is a never again experience.

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I am currently on the Empress.  It has been 26 years since I was last on this ship, and I have enjoyed this cruise.  I am willing to cruise this ship again.  Short lines and unpacked elevators are great. I got on the Empress this past Friday when I got off the Navigator.  When I get off the Empress this Saturday I will then get on the Symphony.  Great way to do BtBtB. 

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I expect you’ll see a noticeable improvement in the quality of service and the attentiveness of the staff, on the smaller ship.  That’s what I remember about it.  Smaller rooms but very personable servers in the main dining room.  

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