7 Night Bermuda (Philadelphia Roundtrip) Sail Date: September 16, 2006 Ship: Empress of the Seas (RETIRED) 223 Cabin Type: Inside Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 10 years ago
Overall, I liked the Empress of the seas ship. It is the smallest ship in RC's fleet, and you can definitley tell once you are onboard. They use the "Start up the Band" theatre to pull triple duty as the main show theatre, a movie theatre, as well as the daily Bingo spot and other various activities center. The upper pool deck has a horrible layout. There is 1 pool, which is laid out strange, a large kids pool area, which wastes too much room, and a couple jacuzzi tubs in the center. It looks like someone didnt think the design thru very well. That said, I did like the more intimate atmosphere of this ship, as well as the ability to quickly find your friends in a smaller crowd.
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
RC continues to be at the top of its game in the food and dining department. This was my 5th cruise with RC, and they are very consistent across the board in terms of variety and quality of thier food. The service is excellent as well. The wait staff and chef's do a tremendous job keeping us fat and happy while we are onboard.Kudos!
3 out of 5
This specific ship is a bit too small to have the number of onboard activities as some of its larger siblings. You wont find an ice skating rink, a surfing simulator, mega-mall or movie theatre here. The main activites are lounging at the horribly laid out top deck pool, climbing the rockwall, or gamling in the tiny casino. This casino literally onle has 9 tables, and less than 60 slot machines. I would have liked more onboard activities since you will have almost 4 solid days at sea doing this cruise.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
The staff was excellent. They are probably #1 in service in the industry. This is consistent across thier fleet as well. The bar waiters are not only always available to get you a drink, but provide lots of entertainment from spinning thier drink trays, making jokes and keeping you hydrated and laughing for the duration of your stay. Well done once again RC!!
3 out of 5
The ship was well kept and maintained, its just an older ship and is in need of a remodel, as it is not laid out very well. It was kept very clean and is easy to navigate since it is so small, but needs some attention in all public areas to brighten it up with some updates furniture and finishes to match the quality of some of thier newer ships.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
Staterooms are all the same on any ship you decide to cruise with...too small. You can basically reach everything in your stateroom from the toilet seat. Not joking. They are adequate though, since you will spend the majority of your time doing things on and off the ship and not in the stateroom. One note of advice, bring an iron!! Your clothes are going to be wrinkled, and you will want to press your new duds before formal night. I guess they feel an iron is too risky for the general public, so be mindful of this.
St. Georges is a decent port. Not really a lot to see on this side of the island. It is not very busy, and has a lot more history and old historical churches etc to see if you are interested. I reccomend going to St. Catherine's beach and even better is Tabacco Bay beach. Both are within walking distance from the ships port, so dont bother with a taxi or moped here. The plus side to this part of the island is that you are not mobbed by the locals trying to braid your hair or sell you cheap little flutes the moment you step off the ship.
Don't Miss: Tabacco Bay & St. Catherine's beaches
The best part of Hamilton is by far Horsehoe Bay beach. Hop on the bus ($12 for an all day pass) and get off at Horseshoe Bay. This is about as close to Hawaii as you can get on the east/atlantic ocean. The sand is silky smooth, with a huge area for swimming/sufing etc. Hike a little ways down the beach and you will discover endless areas of coves and large rock masses where the ocean creates beautiful scenery and natual pools to lay in and take pictures. The water is unbelieveably clear and perfect temperature. It is gorgous. If you want shopping, head back into town, there are plenty of shops for whatever you are looking for. The Crystal Caves are a waste of time. Avoid this. You can see it all in about 10 min, but the tour takes 30min and charges you $15/pp, so stay away from this trap. Look online at the pictures if you are curious, its exactly the same as the pictures you will take and will save you some money. Oh yeah, be sure to try the local favorite drink, the "Rum Swizzle".
Don't Miss: Horsehoe bay beach and Rum Swizzles, they are the shizzle!!
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