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cjdixon4

Need Thoughts on Empress of the Seas

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Considering surprising my hubby with a shorty cruise (3-5 dys) next Spring, and I'm looking at possibly trying Empress. Anyone who has been on her, please share your thoughts/experiences on the ship.  Clearly it won't have the bells and whistles of the mid-size or mega ships; but I'd like to know if I should try it or book another since it's one of RC's oldest in the fleet.

Thanks in advance 😉

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I board Saturday for the first time in 17+ years

 

Our sailing is 8 days

Edited by John&LaLa

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4 minutes ago, cjdixon4 said:

Considering surprising my hubby with a shorty cruise (3-5 dys) next Spring, and I'm looking at possibly trying Empress. Anyone who has been on her, please share your thoughts/experiences on the ship.  Clearly it won't have the bells and whistles of the mid-size or mega ships; but I'd like to know if I should try it or book another since it's one of RC's oldest in the fleet.

Thanks in advance 😉

In my opinion ship did not feel old.

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Do you generally see a lot of kids on Empress?  I had one cruise booked on her, till the great re-deployment debacle of 2017 I think it was?  If it lacks some of the facilities of the larger ships, I wouldn't mind if Royal made this into an adults only ship, maybe feature some smaller ports, longer shore times, something to separate it since they lost the Cuba cruises for now. 

Edited by BillOh
Because I can, and you can't stop me!

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Just remember that cabins are awfully small...standard is 126 sq. ft....that's TIGHT!

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6 minutes ago, cb at sea said:

Just remember that cabins are awfully small...standard is 126 sq. ft....that's TIGHT!

 

We have one of thos dbl wide OV's adjacent to the aft elevators

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I am looking for a cruise to go on over Thanksgiving.  I am a solo cruiser and typically take Carnival but even though I was hoping for Cuba cruising this year, the new itinerary  on the Empress of the Seas looks like a relaxing one for me.  I know what I am getting on Carnival.  I like the smaller ships so I am OK with no wave machines or rock walls.  Just give me a pool, a couple stops for beaches, a few bars, a lively entertainment crew and a late night dance club and I will find the fun :)

 

If you have sailed recently, how was the crowd?  How is the nightlife and entertainment?  Is there an adults only section?  Any other tips?

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I board Saturday for 8 days. If internet is good, I may post my experience 

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6 minutes ago, John&LaLa said:

I board Saturday for 8 days. If internet is good, I may post my experience 

I would really appreciate your perspective on the ship!

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I am looking for a cruise to go on over Thanksgiving.  I am a solo cruiser and typically take Carnival but even though I was hoping for Cuba cruising this year, the new itinerary  on the Empress of the Seas looks like a relaxing one for me.  I know what I am getting on Carnival.  I like the smaller ships so I am OK with no wave machines or rock walls.  Just give me a pool, a couple stops for beaches, a few bars, a lively entertainment crew and a late night dance club and I will find the fun :)

 

If you have sailed recently, how was the crowd?  How is the nightlife and entertainment?  Is there an adults only section?  Any other tips?

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1 minute ago, cjdixon4 said:

I would really appreciate your perspective on the ship!

 

Sure, but keep in mind I have a fairly unique perspective,  and this is looking to be a crazy casino cruise. I'll bet half the ship is comped and the other half are sailing with 50% discounts

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We took Empress 2 years ago when she first stared Cuba cruises.  The ship is lovely.   There is a nice Chops restaurant.  I recall the  ship wide food was good and so was the entertainment. 

 

At that time, there was no plated main  dining room lunch on sea days, only a  buffet brunch in the MDR. Also available, but not advertised were  complimentary Bloody Mary and Screwdrivers.   Not sure that they still so this. 

 

The Boleros is very nice with an open patio on the back areas.  Cigar smoking was allowed outside in that patio area. 

 

If you are a Diamond and up C&A member please be aware that there is no Diamond/Concierge/Suite  lounge.   When we sailed they also did NOT have any type of Diamond event.  You simply used the three vouchers in any bar.  (There are only a few bars).

 

We enjoyed the cruise but if you are expecting any type of extras, this is not the ship for you. 

 

enjoy

m

 

ps - many cruisers are jumping on the Empress/Majesty because of the free/reduced pricing offers.  If they have not sailed these types of ships in a while,  they may be in for a rude awakening.  

 

M

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1 minute ago, John&LaLa said:

 

Sure, but keep in mind I have a fairly unique perspective,  and this is looking to be a crazy casino cruise. I'll bet half the ship is comped and the other half are sailing with 50% discounts

I'll take whatever I can get from you. LOL

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Sailed Empress shortly after its redeployment and have followed discussions since then.  One can debate large ship/small ship, stateroom size, activities or lack thereof, D lounge or no D lounge, food quality and so on,  But here I think is the most important question:  Did they ever fix the problem of sewer gas odor?  I enjoyed my cruise.  The Empress is the Empress so you should know what it has to offer and make your decision.  However, should one really book a cruise on a ship on which every once in a while, you encounter sewer gas odor?

Edited by ILCTCRUISER

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4 minutes ago, John&LaLa said:

 

Sure, but keep in mind I have a fairly unique perspective,  and this is looking to be a crazy casino cruise. I'll bet half the ship is comped and the other half are sailing with 50% discounts

We took Majesty last week ( 5 nights) same  casino/reduced fare stats - and the casino was not crazy at all.  Machines were open and  lots of seats at tables.  VERY smoky!

 

I believe Empress casino is NON smoking, or at least it was  two years ago.

 

M  

Edited by cruisegirl1

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2 minutes ago, ILCTCRUISER said:

Sailed Empress shortly after it's redeployment and have followed discussions since then.  One can debate large ship/small ship, stateroom size, activities or lack thereof, D lounge or no D lounge, food quality and so on,  But here I think is the most important question:  Did they ever fix the problem of sewer gas odor?  I enjoyed my cruise.  The Empress is the Empress so you should know what it has to offer and make your decision.  However, should one really book a cruise on a ship on which every once in a while, you encounter sewer gas odor?

I don't recall any  issues, but that would be awful!

M

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2 minutes ago, John&LaLa said:

 

Sure, but keep in mind I have a fairly unique perspective,  and this is looking to be a crazy casino cruise. I'll bet half the ship is comped and the other half are sailing with 50% discounts

 

I was on the disastrous first cruise that should have been the 14th, but the first 13 were cancelled.  They should have cancelled the 14th also, as the ship was not ready.  The a/c was not working in the casino, they brought in large fans.  We went back a few months later, on a casino comp, and some things were better.  The casino was still very warm; you should probably take some of your coolest clothing for your cruise.

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3 minutes ago, cruisegirl1 said:

We took Majesty last week ( 5 nights) same  casino/reduced fare stats - and the casino was not crazy at all.  Machines were open and  lots of seats at tables.  VERY smoky!

 

I believe Empress casino is NON smoking, or at least it was  two years ago.

 

M  

 

Gotcha,  Laura told me Mariner casino is hopping. That was a Summer Sizzle offer. Prime and up. This Empress is one of those we're not going to Cuba, please join us. 

 

Even I got an offer. 

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Is there an adults only area of the sun deck?  My guess is that there will be lots of kids on a Thanksgiving cruise...

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2 minutes ago, cruisegirl1 said:

I don't recall any  issues, but that would be awful!

M

So maybe they have fixed the problem since you note that you didn't experience it two years ago.  

It has a great sun deck.  Boleros and Schooner are very spacious and very lively.  At the time of my cruise, there was a one-time D event on aft deck behind Boleros and the appetizers were pretty good.  Food in MDR was good, maybe above average.  WJR is laid out in a way that it gets very congested.  Staff was great.  

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1 minute ago, BeachinLar said:

Is there an adults only area of the sun deck?  My guess is that there will be lots of kids on a Thanksgiving cruise...

No adults-only area but it is set away from the pool area.  On my cruise there were a lot of kids around the pool but I don't recall seeing many on the sun deck.  

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5 minutes ago, BeachinLar said:

Is there an adults only area of the sun deck?  My guess is that there will be lots of kids on a Thanksgiving cruise...

 

No Solarium.

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24 minutes ago, John&LaLa said:

 

Gotcha,  Laura told me Mariner casino is hopping. That was a Summer Sizzle offer. Prime and up. This Empress is one of those we're not going to Cuba, please join us. 

 

Even I got an offer. 

 I enjoyed meeting Laura,  she is lovely.   We used one of the offers to take majesty two days after we got off mariner.     (majesty was really wonderful).  All the other offers either conflicted with bookings or other obligations  

enjoy 

m

 

Ps- The cruise prior was also an offer (we did back to back) and honestly I didn’t find either cruise to be super crowded in the casino. 

M

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1 hour ago, John&LaLa said:

 

We have one of thos dbl wide OV's adjacent to the aft elevators

Just booked one of those minutes ago for January. Our third cruise on Empress! Love the smaller ships. 

Edited by coaster

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