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shelbyleigh73

Empress of the Seas? Advice.

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10 hours ago, Joseph2017China said:

I stayed in a really old hotel once.  It was 176 years old.  It received a ton of reviews that the hotel smelled, and that the floors creeked and that the rooms were "dated" and the bathrooms were "dated".  So I booked it and we loved it. 

 

The Empress is an old ship and many think it is a ship of the bygone error.  But I had no issues on it.  Every cruise, and class of ship, and destination is different.  Each trip is vacation.  Don't get on a small ship, and complain that it is a small ship.  Just like I have read complaints that they serve Asian food on Asian cruises.  Why would you expect different?  Just like food, why would you expect the ship to grow in size?  So go with the open mind that you selected a relaxing vacation on a classic ship, and you will love it.

To be honest, it was really the smell reviews that were bothering me. LOL The other reason I got worried was because I couldn't find a lot of reviews of where people mentioned the kids club for this particular ship. But I finally found a few things and the kids looked happy.  I don't have a problem with it being small. My daughter isn't at thrill seeker yet, and I'm just too damn lazy to be on a ship that has eight million things to do because I'll feel like I NEED to do them or maybe she'll want to do them.  Again...I'm fine with a book, a mimosa and a deck chair. She's cool as long as she has a pool and ice cream. so I'm thinking I'll be just fine! Everyone has put me at ease about the smell, so I already feel a million times better! I truly want to relax on the boat and do my thrill seeking at the ports. 🙂 

 

everyone has made me feel better! I don't usually doubt myself about trips, but for some reason (maybe because I booked so fast, I was doubting! But no more! I'm ready for spring break! 🙂

 

P.S. I would TOTALLY stay in a 176 year old hotel. And hope that a friendly ghost would visit me. LOL 

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8 hours ago, TheChefslc said:

Good to know. Thank you for the information. 

 

This is what my wife and I are doing. After looking at some pictures and really thinking about it, we figured it will be fun to just have some relaxing time on the ship and then enjoy our ports. We really are looking forward to Key West. We have only been there once but I loved it and cannot wait to go again.

Key West IS.THE.BEST. Love it so! 

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6 minutes ago, shelbyleigh73 said:

Key West IS.THE.BEST. Love it so! 

Speaking of Key West, Empress docks right smack dab in  the center of Mallory Square. Very few (and I don't think any of the others are Royal) can dock there.

 

empresskw-1.jpg

 

 

Taken from the shipwreck museum tower.

 

Roy

Edited by rafinmd

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Thanks everyone! I feel a million times better! Again, the size of the ship doesn't matter. I was just worried about the smell and lack of reviews about the kids club. However, my chill travel loving kid will be just fine! We always have a blast on vacation, and this one will be no different! Thanks again for putting my mind at ease. Here we come, Spring Break! 

 

Now..

 

Feel free to give me your Royal Caribbean advice! LOL Again...this is my first time with this cruise line! 

 

Empress.

9 year old.

Single mom.

Cozumel.

Coco Cay.

No need to tell me anything about KW. What can I tell you? 😉 

 

And...go!

 

Thanks!

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3 minutes ago, rafinmd said:

Speaking of Key West, Empress docks right smack dab in  the center of Mallory Square. Very few (and I don't think any of the others are Royal) can dock there.

 

empresskw-1.jpg

 

 

Taken from the shipwreck museum tower.

 

Roy

that just made me even more excited! My little town just waiting for me and oh so close!!! 

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8 minutes ago, rafinmd said:

Speaking of Key West, Empress docks right smack dab in  the center of Mallory Square. Very few (and I don't think any of the others are Royal) can dock there.

 

empresskw-1.jpg

 

 

Taken from the shipwreck museum tower.

 

Roy

 

 

Radiance and Sovereign Class dock there too, when available. 

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I'm on Empress right now. Third deck mid ship closer to back inside stateroom.

 

1. It was a bit stinky yesterday morning on 4th deck midship because some poor pooch (I hope) couldn't hold it and pooped on a carpet. The hallway remained stinky for a few hours after it was cleaned. I'd say it was a simple accident. I think there are two small dogs onboard. 

 

Three days ago maintenance crew were working on a sewer system and there occasionally were of few whiffs of sewer gases. The way that old sewer pipes smell, not the way that porta-potties smell at a large outside public events. The smell was occasional and fully dissipated towards evening hours. Smell was unpleasant but not revolting. Once again it was during work hours and very localized. There was no bothering smell in the evening or elsewhere. 

 

2. This is the first cruise for us. The ship doesn't feel small at all. It feels like Empress has more useful space and things to do at any given point of time than many all-inclusive resorts that we have been to in Mexico. 

 

2 (again) and three. We have three daughters aged 9, 7 and 5. None of them are bored. We did Playa Mia park in Cozumel and 9 year old did snorkeling in Belize. She's happy. My five year old now demands to go to the kids club several times a day. The pool is small but girls are okay with it and go swimming there daily. 

 

4. Empress has dated decor with some elements that now appear almost antique and really charming. Otherwise she's in perfect health. I have no regrets booking this itinerary. 

 

Our waiter (Julio - exceptional customer service) has over fifteen years of experience with RCCL. When his seniority allowed him to pick any ship out of the fleet to work on he chose Empress. The whole crew here offers service that easily outshines anything that we experienced at any five-stars all inclusives that we vacationed at thus far.

 

It's Costa Maya for us tomorrow, and then Coco Cay!

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2 hours ago, PatMunits said:

 

2 (again) and three. We have three daughters aged 9, 7 and 5. None of them are bored. We did Playa Mia park in Cozumel and 9 year old did snorkeling in Belize. She's happy. My five year old now demands to go to the kids club several times a day. The pool is small but girls are okay with it and go swimming there daily. 

 

That is awesome. Thank you for sharing this. What does the 9 year old think of the kids club? Lainey LOVED the kids club on Disney...though it seemed I always found her playing video games! haha I told her tonight that I read they had Gaga ball in RC kid clubs, and she is quite excited about that! Please share what the older girls think about CocoCay! Have fun!

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15 hours ago, shelbyleigh73 said:

That is awesome. Thank you for sharing this. What does the 9 year old think of the kids club? Lainey LOVED the kids club on Disney...though it seemed I always found her playing video games! haha I told her tonight that I read they had Gaga ball in RC kid clubs, and she is quite excited about that! Please share what the older girls think about CocoCay! Have fun!

She says that she likes the games they play together. She only regrets that there are only two kids of her age, and the rest are younger by a couple of years. I'm actually surprised there are so many kids on board on this cruise, just a couple of weeks into the school year. 

 

Today when we returned from a water park in Costa Maya my daughter had lunch and then headed straight to the kids club by herself. Her verdict: she likes it.

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I confirm that there's GAGA ball at the kids club. My girl scored a medal there playing GAGA ball this afternoon. 

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1 hour ago, PatMunits said:

I confirm that there's GAGA ball at the kids club. My girl scored a medal there playing GAGA ball this afternoon. 

 

GAGA ball AND Medals? It just keeps getting better!!!! 🙂

 

How are the shows in regards to nine year olds? We like shows...didn't miss one on the Disney boats (but they ARE kid friendly), and she loves Broadway (has seen Wicked and Annie). Just wondering about that. 

 

Thanks! Shelby 

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So, I assume it is safe to say that if a comedian doesn't say "over 18", that they are safe enough for a 9 year old and are more family friendly? Just wondering! Thanks!

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6 hours ago, shelbyleigh73 said:

So, I assume it is safe to say that if a comedian doesn't say "over 18", that they are safe enough for a 9 year old and are more family friendly? Just wondering! Thanks!

I would think so (although it never huts to be in a position where you can make a quick getaway).  Our comedian had a late night session one night that was advertised as adult so I think unless you have unusuaully high standards the prime time one would be fine.  I certainly don't remember anything unobjectionable but I am more likely than you to just pass it off.

 

Roy

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1 hour ago, John&LaLa said:

@PatMunits

What type of cabin ate you all in?

3143 has two single and two bunk beds. My mother was booked into another cabin and our third daughter was checked in with her. Two lowest priced cabins was still way cheaper than a suite. We had zero nights/points prior to this cruise so also no discounts were available to us. Second 50%off plus kids sail free plus clear out deals on Empress made this cruise possible. 

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We cruised the Empress 2 years ago to Key West and Cuba (remember when that was legal).  Our son was 11 then and certainly found enough to do,  He used the Kids Club a little but was more interested in the pool and the rock climbing wall.  The staff was amazing and the food was probably the best on any RCCL cruise (of 6) we've done.  In my mind the ship certainly lives up to it's reputation "the little ship with the big heart."  We are booked on her next July to New England/Canada.  Enjoy your cruise.

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I love Empress.  It is a small ship but I like to think of it as quaint. No bad smells when we sailed last year but it’s not unusual to have transient sewer type odor on any ship. Our Harmony cruise last week had a horrible, very odd odor in the hallway that lasted for 3 days!

 

Both of you will love Coco Cay! There are 2 small water park areas, Captain Jill’s Galleon and Splashaway Bay that are free. Both have small slides, water canons, etc.  Oasis Lagoon Pool is very nice and free, too as are the beach chairs and umbrellas.  We were there last week and had a “perfect day” without spending a dime!😂

 

Sherri🙂

 

 

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Empress just doesn’t have all the fun attractions the bigger ships have. It doesn’t have a big open mall area with shops and restaurants, just a small shopping area in the ship. My kids didn’t have as much to do on sea days as they did when we went on the much larger Independence.  I would recommend this as a good couples cruise ship without kids, or else for a shorter cruise with no more than one sea day. Or else if you prefer only lounging and relaxing, this ship is just great. Also, this ship does not have many or any regular balcony rooms, but the junior suites with balconies are reasonably priced. Nice friendly crew but there is no “wow” factor to this ship.  We still had a great time, it just wasn’t quite as much fun for my kids compared to the bigger ships. 

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Our eight day itinerary on Empress had two sea days. Frankly, we were thankful for these two sea days as they gave us all a chance to sleep in and recharge for next day's adventure. For us Empress delivered a nice balance of value, service, entertainment, and relaxation.

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Great thread, especially since I'm going on Empress next April for the first time.  My last two cruises have been Allure and Symphony and I'm actually looking forward to a much smaller ship.  Two of my favorites are Brilliance and Enchantment.  Also loved Grandeur.

I also love Key West (one of the reasons I chose this cruise). I'm just hoping there isn't a repeat of one of my Brilliance cruises where due to weather, we couldn't dock in KW.  That was a bummer.

 

Question for those who have been on Empress:  since Chops is the only specialty restaurant (I believe), I assume the MDR is pretty full at dinner time?  On Symphony last month there were a lot of empty tables, and I assumed it was because of all the dining options.

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BTW, shelbyleigh, you and your daughter will love Coco Cay.  I thought it was great, much better than Labadee.

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Hey Watson61, we did the assigned dining time on Empress , and always were seated promptly and experienced great service. I really like the meals in the dining room, always top notch,  so I never tried the specialty restaurants. We went to Key West too, thought it wouldn’t be “tropical” enough but it was our favorite and most fun stop on the whole cruise. Have fun!!!

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6 minutes ago, watson61 said:

BTW, shelbyleigh, you and your daughter will love Coco Cay.  I thought it was great, much better than Labadee.

 

I'll agree with that. Coco Cay is awesomeness 

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We did My Time, and while MDR was often pretty full we only had to wait once there and not for more than five minutes. We did Chops Grille once and it was worth the price of admission at 30% and with our full glasses of red wine that we brought along. Chops Grille doesn't get full. Be on a lookout for waiters from the restaurant who wander around the ship and try solicit a visit to Chops Grille at 30% off.

CocoCay is everything that rave reviews boast about it. It's not over-the-top and overwhelming Disneyworld-type experience but definitely one of the stronger highlights on a cruise itinerary.

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