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Found 92 results

  1. 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!
  2. 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?
  3. I am considering booking a Studio Ocean View cabin on the Empress of the Seas for a cruise to Cuba. I am traveling alone and RC is allowing me to booking this cabin without any single supplement. Are these cabins acceptable for one person?
  4. Thinking about booking Empress. My question is what do they do for the Diamond and Diamond plus people with no Diamond lounge?
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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)
  10. 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?"
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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
  16. 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.
  17. 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 🙂
  18. 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!!
  19. My family really enjoys the Oasis & Voyager Class ships. Would we be completely let down if we booked Empress?
  20. Given that the Empress will probably attract an older crowd to Bermuda next summer (given all the larger bells and whistles types ships sailing there more likely to attract families), I wonder if they might be considering any changes to their casino policy. Especially with a 2 level casino, I was surprised to read that it is completely no smoking. Older people have a greater rate of smoking than younger people. I could be wrong, but I thought Royal allowed smoking in the casino on other of their ships.
  21. Hi My husband has always wanted to sail on a small ship. With Empress coming to NJ next summer this is the perfect opportunity. We have sailed on Anthem of the Seas pretty frequently and like the layout of the Junior Suite J1 (with large balcony). If we choose a Junior Suite on Empress and we are looking at possibly one of the AFT JS cabins, which would you choose: Deck 7 - has a few JS’s across the AFT - would you pick a corner or middle? This is above Boleros Deck 8 - has 1 JS AFT - cabins above and below. It looks like it’s next to an Owner’s Suite. Deck 9 - has 1 JS AFT - under rock climbing wall. It looks like it’s next to an Owner’s Suite. The cabins on Deck 8 and 9 look to be wider but shorter than those on Deck 7, but maybe I’m imagining it. Any feedback is appreciated Thank you Noreen
  22. I have a voyage booked on Empress for March. The cruise planner doesn't have the drinks package on it (yet it for some reason has an unlimited dining package). I have a cruise on Explorer December 2020 and it has always had the drinks package (currently at 56/day), so I'm not sure it's a too far away thing. Anyone else have this experience? Is it an Empress thing? The deluxe package will eventually show up, right? Hopefully in time for Black Friday 🙂 I did message RCCL and they said to chill it can take a few weeks, but it's not like it's a shore excursion, and I don't completely trust what they said for some reason.
  23. Hello, My sister/brother in law have a few questions, I offered to write here for them to see if anybody can help. 1- Is the casino on the Empress non smoking? 2- If the casino has smoking, is it very bad? 3- They mentioned people said the ship smelled like sewage any truth? They will have a Junior Suite 4- For those who been on the Empress, would you go back? any why?
  24. Is there a location that diamond and above passengers have as a drink lounge. Do they use the Viking Lounge?
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