September 2016 - Empress of the Seas to Caribbean - Western
The Empress of the Seas is the smallest ship in Royal Caribbeans fleet. That has advantages and disadvantages. The advantages include a superb amount of service by every crew member on board, everything is closer, no need for reservations on my time dining, the lines getting on and off the ship are shorter, shows are easier to get to with short or no lines even to the last minute. Disadvantages are: the staterooms are tiny and poorly laid out (no dressers either), a smaller variety of things to do, the food is subject to some difficulty on the my time dining (over cooked, not as described, etc.) One disappointment was that solo traveler events were just notices to meet 15 minutes before some other activity where all the other passengers were coming to so there was no good way to meet other solo travelers (in an organized fashion.)
If you adjust for the price of the voyage, this ship is a great value. On a straight comparison, it is good but not outstanding.