Empress of the Seas (RETIRED) 223 Cruise Review
A good experience overall, however there is room for improvement. Embarkation was inordinately slow! The international crew was friendly, and attentive. My cabin was quite comfortable and well attended. Dining room services were very good, as were all food services. Food was well prepared and menus nicely varied. Bar and wine service was first rate, and drink quality was among the best I've seen. On-board activities were plentiful, and entertainment was good as well. Purser and shore excursion services on board this ship leave something to be desired. As is often the case, these desks were under-manned, so lines were often long and slow moving. I hoped to avoid standing in lines by purchasing my excursions weeks in advance on the RCI website. A good plan, I thought, but it didn't quite work out. The confirmation e-mail that I received stated that my excursion tickets would be delivered to my cabin on the evening we sailed. When they were not, I was forced to go to the excursion desk the next morning only to learn that the tickets would be delivered that day. I missed one excursion entirely because its departure time had been changed. I was told that this time change had been made after I purchased the excursion. Unfortunately, I was not made aware of this. Most disappointing. A second trip to the excursion desk for an explanation and refund. I would urge everyone to check excursion departure times after boarding. Overall, I feel this cruise was a good value and I would feel comfortable in recommending it. A more accurate rating would be 3.5 stars.