June 2016 - Empress of the Seas to Caribbean - Bahamas
My mother surprised me with a graduation gift by taking me on a cruise. We were supposed to go key west and then The Grand Cayman (5 day cruise). So we baught an excursion to go out on jet skis and scuba dive the day we would arrive in Grand Cayman. However, we never made it. The captain announced to everyone that the ship was having problem, and only one of the engines were working. We were not compensated what so ever. Everyone was given 10% back on whatever we spent on the ship the first day. My mother and I only baught a few drinks that day so we received like $6 back. They didn't even give us money back for the excursion we had purchased.
Not only did we not make it to Grand Cayman, but our key cards were not working all week. We had them replaced multiple times. Unfortunately, we spent a lot of time at the customer service desk. Must be one of the many glitches the ship had after it got "remodeled".
Also, there is only one small pool on Empress of the seas...and it's packed everyday. You haft to wake up very early to get a decent spot to lay out as well.
My mother and I are not picky eaters, but we were not at all impressed with the food. We did fine dining every night and the buffet for lunch and breakfast. The buffet was okay(minus the moldy fruit we found the first day on board), only a few dishes were enjoyable out of all the nights we dined. On a positive note, our wait staff was super nice and entertaining.
As far as on board activities there was absolutely nothing for my age group. I'm 19 and I was having a hard time finding things to do besides lay out in the sun.
I can't say "Royal of the Caribbean is a horrible cruise line", but the Empress of the Seas is NOT a ship you want to spend money to go on. We met a nice older woman on the ship, she said that she's been on 22 different cruises and this is the worst one she's ever been on. She said that Princess and Celebrity are the best cruise lines to go through. Hope this helps!! Choose wisely and do your research.