Empress of the Seas Reviews

3.9 out of 5

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3.1 out of 5

If you can't do a cruise right than don't offer it. by DavidinKC

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/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Singles/Friends

The ship's crew did the best they could with limited resources. Cuba & RCI headquarters did not do a good job! 14 hours in Havana but only about 2 hours of daylight (if you asked your excursions were refunded). They dropped 1 of 2 Cuban ports but they choose to tell after the cancellation period; some only found out after they arrived in Miami. (Actually someone who booked this cruise last Spring said that there were originally 3 ports in Cuba.)

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4.8 out of 5

Great trip Cuba visit was disappointing by toddb332

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/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

Great trip over all very disappointed in the way Cuba was handled.

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3.6 out of 5

Not much of Cuba. Just 1 hour of daylight. by warmandsunny

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/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

Advertised as “best of Cuba”. Santiago was cancelled. We stepped on land in Havana about 4 pm. It was dark at 5:30, so we saw almost nothing On the bus tour. Royal Caribbean refunded the money for the bus tour, but we did not have the opportunity to see Cuba. We were given a day in Key West to replace Cuba. We did not want FL....we signed up to see Cuba. Staff was very good. It was not their fault, but the decision makers for RC mislead everyone.

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3.1 out of 5

Not what we paid for. by Sat54836763

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/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

We booked thinking we had two ports to visit in Cuba. Two weeks prior Royal Caribbean replaced Santiago, Cuba with Key West. This change was disappointing and our disappointment also extended to the shore excursion in Havana. Offering a 4 hour Panoramic tour of Havana when more than half of the tour was in complete darkness is sad. Royal Caribbean didn’t live up to the quality of service they have provided in the past. I would not recommend this ship or itenerary to others.

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2.6 out of 5

A big disappointment by ladams77071

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/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

The cruise was advertised to be "The Best of Cuba" but Santiago was totally cancelled and replaced by Key West and the Havana day began in the late afternoon and by the time we cleared customs it was nighttime and we did not see much of Havana at all. We were very disappointed in how RCCL organized and misrepresented this cruise. Ourselves and hundreds of other passengers demanded refunds, some for the entire cruise. Terrible waste of our money.

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3 out of 5

Best Of Cuba? We paid $75.00 for the visa, we did not see anyhting about Cuba by yiuall

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/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Large Group

Very disappointed. Our main purpose of signing up this cruise is Cuba. First, Royal Caribbean canceled one of the Cuba port about 2 months before the departure and replaced with Key West which we were there before. Second Havana was the only Cuba port in the itinerary. When we arrived Havana it was 3 pm. It took almost 3 hours to go thru immigration and by the time we got out to the city, it was pitch dark. So we paid for the Visa to visit Cuba and see nothing. I did not see anything matched the theme of the cruise 8 days Best of Cuba. Any possibility of a certain refund?

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3.9 out of 5

The worst trip I ever had! by lisadubbelde

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/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (older children)

Don’t go on this trip with empress of the sea and Royal Caribbean. What a drain to your pocketbook for nothing!!!!

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4 out of 5

Mini mighty - beautiful ship - brings back feel of old days in cruise industry by Cruiser24341095

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/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (young children)

Brings back a feel of cruising many years ago Food and staff are top notch With under a 1,000 guest the attention to detail is above average

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4.9 out of 5

Nice trip! by lindamoore20

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/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Singles/Friends

I have taken several cruises with different companies and Royal is one of the best. Carlos, the tour director, did an excellent job and the ambiance was good. Labadee was a pleasant surprise - kudos to the company! Nassau is not my favorite because of the incessant shopping invitations - I understand "cruise ship culture" but it is a negative for me. I especially enjoyed the flag parade and the musical shows. Although I liked the other acts as well, I wish there could have been a bit of music every night. Overall, a good cruise experience!!

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3.3 out of 5

Empress of the Seas Review-Martinez, 180-41877021 by CathyMartines

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/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

This was our eighth cruise, third and last with Royal Caribbean, and a major disappointment. This ship was not equipped for people that are handicapped. The only doors that are automatic were from the pool to the Windjammer. I would have thought being such a large organization, they would need to be Handicap compliant, but this was definitely not the case. The ramps on the doorways, if they even had them, were not well placed and it was difficult for my husband to navigate his small scooter. The scooter would skid when slowly going over them (a have a photo of two of the doors). I had to hold the doors for my husband so he could never go anywhere by himself. We purchased this scooter specifically for the cruise, as well as, any cruises going forward and I verified with Royal Caribbean, the scooter was within their requirements, as well as, completed the necessary paperwork prior to the cruise with the weight and dimensions, per their instructions. The elevators on our side of the ship were extremely small and only 2-3 more people could fit in the elevator with the scooter so it took quite a while to get anywhere because with only 2 small diamond shaped elevators on our side of the ship, so when it got to us on the 8th floor, it was more likely than not, full and we would have to wait 2-3 times for it to go up and down before we could get in. One of the two elevators was out of order twice during the week as well. There was not enough room in the hallways in the morning and night when they cleaned the rooms and I constantly had to move the big bins of towels myself so my husband could pass in the hallways. (I took a photo and can provide it if you like). We had booked 3 excursions for this cruise prior to boarding. We selected the excursions based on the literature that was provided, as well as, calling Royal Caribbean directly to confirm. On the first day of the cruise, I visited the Excursion Desk to confirm that each excursion could accommodate the scooter and was assured that EVERY excursion offered by Royal Caribbean, could not only accommodate the scooter but that there would be staff there that could assist us. I had not yet booked an excursion for Costa Maya because based on what is online, nothing seemed applicable. We live in Florida so we really were not interested in going to the beach. The Excursion staff on board told me that was the only tour that would work for us, so we decided we would just explore the island by ourselves. Throughout the week, every time I asked about the excursions, or handicap accessibility on the islands, I received different answers. We were unable to take the excursion we booked for Key West, because when we arrived for the tour, they were unable to accommodate my husband's scooter. There was no place to put the scooter, even though the excursion staff on the ship had told me the day before they had a lift and all Royal Caribbean excursions was equipped with lifts to handle the scooter. The staff on the Key West were absolutely wonderful and they put us on a different tour that could accommodate the scooter. We ended up cancelling the tour we had booked for Cozumel because we later learned that neither Cozumel or Costa Maya had streets or accommodations for scooters. We were also told that Cuba absolutely would be a place to use the scooter, but later we found that not to be the case. When we returned to the ship at midday after our tour of Key West. My husband was kept waiting outside the ship by Security, upon return from Key West for 10-15 minutes, in the hot sun. He was just left sitting there, for view to anyone getting back on the ship, like he did something wrong. Traffic was light at that hour and they tested his scooter twice and told him he had to wait. There were several ship personnel around and two were just standing there chatting, and after a while, we started to ask what the hold-up was and were just told someone would be coming to see us. Finally someone from Security told us we could enter the ship and insisted on helping my husband up the ramp and actually knocked the scooter so my husband started to fall off the scooter. Fortunately, my husband grabbed onto the railing, and saved himself. Once he got back onboard the ship, Security was so unorganized, you would have thought it was the first time they went through this. They told him to get off the scooter, wanted me to drive the scooter (which I did not know how to do), get back on the scooter, and separated us and did not tell me where to go to meet and help him. When all was said and done, there was no reason for any of it, as Security did not check anything, and just made a spectacle of us. I had another incident later the same day (2nd day-Key West), where I went to move a lounge chair near the pool, so my husband and I could sit together, and a man jumped out of the pool, got in my personal space shoving his finger in my face, picked up my personal bag, moving it, and rammed a chair into my legs, leaving indents, telling me I could not sit where I moved the chair. When I shoved the chair off my legs, back at him and told him he could not tell me where to sit, Security approached and separated ME, instead of the man that initiated this encounter. This whole incident was witnessed by other people in the pool area, backing me up. This incident was totally unprovoked. I had one young man come to my rescue and try and intervene with the man that was bothering me. He was extremely kind but by the time I was finished with Security he was gone and was unable to even thank him. I found the whole experience to be extremely humiliating. If we could have gotten off the ship and aborted the cruise, even though it was only the second day, we would have. It absolutely ruined the trip. We are just two average people that do not call attention to ourselves and just do not have these kind of episodes. To have two in one day, was just too much. I was so rattled, I was shaking most of the rest of the day. My husband rarely leaves the house these days, and this is a trip well planned and anticipated by both of us. We asked for a meeting with Security and spoke to Dane Richa. We asked him to pull the videos for the two incidents and we wanted to discuss them with hm. We had a meeting with Aniella Fernandes and Anil Jumar from Security that night, and asked for a copy of the videos, as well as, the body cams for recording the meeting, which they declined to provide, and asked for advice on how to proceed with the other ports. After they checked with the Excursions Desk, they told us neither Costa Maya or Cozumel could accommodate the scooter but Cuba would be able to. At this same meeting with Security, I addressed the incident at the pool. Aniella told me she was going to verify we could not get copies of the videos and told me she was going to check in with us the next day, but we did not hear from her the remainder of the cruise. In regards to the food on the ship: the coffee was almost always, both in the dining room and in the Windjammer, lukewarm, so when you added creamer, it was cold. The scrambled eggs were extremely runny. The food at midday in the Windjammer was disgusting. I think prison food would have been better. The food in the dining room was OK. Our waiter was awesome. Our cabin was smaller than what we have had in the same class on prior cruises. The storage space was terrible. The drawers were so small nothing could fit in them. There was no room at the end of the bed to move around. Out steward was the best we have ever had. We never had to ask for something twice. This ship is very old and there is rust and signs of age everywhere. The fact that it is not handicap compliant is the most alarming. The ship should really be taken out of service. It is an embarrassment to Royal Caribbean. The photos from the cruise ship were the best we have ever had taken. There were so many good shots, it was hard to decide which ones to take. This was not the experience we were hoping for. WE WOULD NEVER TRAVEL ROYAL CARRIBBEAN AGAIN and can’t tell you what a disappointment it was to us. We will be sharing this experience with family and friends, as well as, online.

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4.2 out of 5

CUBA --- This was the best Cruise by denise999

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/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Classic cars. Buy ahead of time. Buy for cruise line. Its much more than just a ride in a car. Most enjoyable.

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4.4 out of 5

Good by subizar

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/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

The ship is old, the cabin is really small in addition have another two beds on the wall, the bathroom need repairs and the main restaurant have a small menu but the personal is really good, the director Carlos is very good, the ship is very clean. I think for this kind of travel Royal Caribbean need to use the bigger ship, but in general we enjoyed the activities and in special we really enjoy Cuba.

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4.4 out of 5

Great trip but the ship is less than what we expected by scouter65

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/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

Great trip with the highlight being Cuba. We will be watching to see if RC has new port of calls around Cuba and new places besides Mexico.

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4.9 out of 5

Best Mom Vacation! by kendrawilk70

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/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Singles/Friends

This is the perfect mom vacation. The pampering is complete, from food preparation to cleaning to entertainment. After our day in hot, sultry Havana, we were greeted on the ship ramp by a steward with wet, frozen cloths to cool down as we returned to the ship. There is plenty of space at the rails for sea gazing at all hours and hammocks big enough for two. In short, the perfect vacation to escape from reality for a little while. Very rejuvenating.

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3.2 out of 5

Cuba cruise by callewaert

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/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Couple

Disappointment. Not at all up to pair with Royal Caribbean. Outdated ship, unkempt, and poor service/staff.

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2.5 out of 5

A great trip but not worth the hassle by BanksAndGraves

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/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Singles/Friends

My experience with the crew members and the lack of attention and sympathy towards an issue their management team expressed they were having. For this to be our first trip with Royal Caribbean it was enough to say I would never sail with them again. I had terrible sleep and needed our room changed twice. The water the first night was brown and then days later our room flooded. This was unacceptable and was never addressed until I later went to the desk (even though we had caller multiple times for attention towards this matter). I am still in shock and disgust.

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4.6 out of 5

Loved this cruise!!! Highly recommended. by alvarezbetsy

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/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (older children)

Loved visiting Cuba! Local People are awesome. Highly recommend.

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4.7 out of 5

Wonderful by ddsingle

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/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Family (older children)

It was a wonderful cruise and a great time. Fun for all

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4.5 out of 5

Amazing trip! by evgenialong

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/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Singles/Friends

Everything were good organized, pre- planed, with notes and advertising All events present and future. The ship was very clean. It was big options Of meals. In restaurant the menu was different everyday and good quality. And how nice were serving people! Entertainment was just exceptional Carlos is very valuable for cruise! Thank you! Evgenia Long

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3.8 out of 5

Great time except for the hurricane by TMcC

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/ Sail Date: / Traveled As: Large Group

Not overly happy with RC - lots of untrue material circulated before the cruise - Cuba much more open than advertised

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