Empress of the Seas (RETIRED) Cruise Review to Bermuda

Deck Hand

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

3 out of 5

Not a typical RCCL cruise

Sail Date: July 01, 2006

Reviewed: 10 years ago

Room Type: Oceanview

My husband and I had cruised RCCL prior. Just last year we had sailed to the Carribean on Adventure of the Seas & have had nothing but wonderful things to say about the ship & cruise! This time around we were very dissapointed.

Many of the complaints I feel had a lot to do with the fact that the ship was way too crowded.

There weren't enough lounge chairs for passageners. If you weren't at the pool deck by 9:30 am you couldn't find a lounge chair. One woman actually asked if she could sit in our lounge chairs while we went tolunch b/c she had been laying on the deck all morning!

Empress has only one pool & 3 jaccuzzis & when everyone was on board you couldn't find a free space in the pool or jaccuzi!

The drinks are very expensive! 2 virgin pina coladas were 22$!
The deck was over crowded and many times empty beer bottles and cups littered the area. I even saw a rotten banana peel under someone's chair!
Also there seemed to always be bins of dirty dishes and the ice cream machines always seemed to be out of order or a mess. Could have been due to the tons of kids on board who were always getting ice cream
Food was so so- breakfast buffet was ok- but breakfast pastries were lousy. Eggs to order are good though.
Lunch buffet lousy- many of the salads were drowned in dressing. same foods every day. Deserts consisted of cookies or pound cake. I hear that the dining room lunch was much better! Dinner in the dining room was great! Food was very good but don't try and ask for something special- they won't accomodate you. My husband tried to order a main dish as a smaller appeitizer and they said no! They say they have tea from 3-5pm. No tea! The food was the same at lunch but a more limited menu and of course pizza , fries, hotdogs, & more pound cake and cookies!

Towards the end of the cruise, we all noted a fowl sewage smell all over the ship and the next morning I noticed dirty water & sewage seeping up from drains in the stateroom bathroom. They were speedy in fixing it & even called to make sure it was all set. They said it was due to rough seas but my parents who have cruised several times said it's b/c the ship is over crowded & the septic tank was most likely backing up!
Bermuda is a fantastic port of call. It's safe, clean and there's ton to do. People are friendly and the scenary is incredible!
The entertainment on board is excellent as always- great Las Vegas shows acts! Tons of on board activities, the staff is very friendly and helpful. The few times we called gues relations with a complaint they were speedy in fixing the problem and then called later on to make sure it was taken care of.

Bermuda is a fantastic port of call though we were only there for 2 full days b/c the trip from PA takes 2 full days at sea b/c it's a 7 hour trip up the Delaware River which by the way is ugly. smelly and dirty. Consider going out of NY or NJ. The trip down the Hudson is shorter and much more scenic!

Pros: entertainment, alternate dining, jacuzzi and pool open very late at night, friendly staff, lots of activities, port of call

Cons: departure port, buffet food at lunch, way too crowded for the size of the ship, air conditioner didn't seem to be working very well

Food and Dining
Food was so so
We chose to eat at the breakfast buffet and lunch buffet every day.
Breakfast was pretty good- though breakfast pastries were lousy!
Lunch - I found to be pretty poor. salad's were drowned in dressing, and some dishes looked like they had been sitting out for a long time. Desert consisted of different kinds of cookies or pound cake most days with occasional cakes or pies thrown in here and there.
Dinner was excellent! We ate in the dining room and our staff was great! We asked for margarine instead of butter and from then on out we always had margarine. He even had Splenda available and placed it in our sugar bowl each night! We did do alternate dining one night in the Windjammer Cafe and that was very nice. There really aren't any special option infact don't even bother trying to order something special b/c they won't accomodate you. My husband tried to order a main dish as an appetizer (e.g.) rizzoto and they said they couldn't do it!
Ship Quality
it's just too small to accomodate the number of passageners the cruise lines books but the ship was laid out nicely.
Public areas were fairly clean- but I did note that ash trays in the casino were always full.
The pool deck was always a mess. Beer bottles and cups, dirty dishes piled up in bin, and the ice cream machines were always a mess. I really feel that this is all due to the fact that ship was over booked!
Cabin / Stateroom
state room was average although we could hear alot of bangin and pounding on the ceiling and it almost sounded like people running down a halway. We also noted that as we walked towards our room was foward some of the hallways were very warm. In fact many of the public areas were very warm. We did complain that our AC was not cold enough and they did fix it.
Service and Staff
Staff as always was great! They are happy, and willing to do what ever they can to make your cruise enjoyable. When ever we had a concern or complaint they were always speedy in adressing it and always called to make sure everything was ok. We had a mix up with our table when we got on board. We were supposed to have a table for 2 and were seated at a larger table. We ended up with a table for 2, but I did note that there had to be atleast 40 people with dinner seating problems and I honestly doubt they were all accomodated! We got lucky and were the 3rd in line! Again I don't think that the staff could accomodate everyone b/c there were just too many people but despite this they were always pleasant.
Excellent! Great variety acts, dancers are great. The quest is a must if you cruise Royal Carribean! There is always something to do.
Children's Programs
We don't have children but we did notice that there seemed to be a lot of options for kids of all ages. In fact they have Water Tots program that is exclusive to RCC. I even saw a counselor on deck with a bunch of little kids and he was helping them all get ice cream! So cute!

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