Michael Poole is LIVE blogging all this weekend from Royal Caribbean's Empress of the Seas. Follow along for the updates!
What a day I have to share with you on this live blog. I started out my day in Tampa, Florida and drove to Miami at 6:45am. Nothing really exciting about the drive other than it is really long, around 300 miles.
I arrived to the Port of Miami around 11:00am, and we were dock in terminal “G”. The parking at the terminal is $20/Day and you pay once you leave. I must say I have never parked so close to a cruise ship in all my cruises.
Going through the pier was so easy, there were zero lines on both suite and non-suite side.
I was handed my SeaPass card and excited to see I had the drink package sticker loaded on my card. I have the ultimate package that includes coffee and fresh juices, along with all the cocktails and beer. They had already started boarding so I walked right on board.
Lunch On board
At 11:30 the Windjammer was open and we made our way to lunch.
The first thing I noticed is they have hand washing stations once you walk in. This was something different I have not seen on any other Royal Caribbean ship, but I really liked that home feeling.
For lunch it was the typical lunch with burgers, fries, grilled fish, and ribs. I grabbed a seat by the window, but boy was it hot. That seemed to be the theme for today, just hot on the upper decks. The décor in the windjammer was all brand new with very modern finishes.
After lunch we explored around the pool deck, the room was not open until 1pm, so we really took advantage of our time around the ship.
They had pre-arranged a photo in the Centrum at 1pm. Shortly after I headed to my cabin, which is a Jr. Suite 9122.
The cabin is what you would find on a standard ocean balcony across the fleet, but remember the ship is 26 years old. I was actually very impressed with the cabin and the space it offers, again with all new décor.
Afternoon on board
After muster drill, we headed to the private crown and anchor top tier party and suites. They hosted this party in the aft of the ship on the open decks.
They had a live band, plenty of food options, and drinks, very nice party. In fact, the Captain even showed up and was quite nice to talk to.
Tonight our dinner was in the Chops Grill specialty dining. They charge a cover charge of $30 per person, and everything is included.
Tonight we had a limited menu since our group was over 21 people.
However, they had the favorites on there, such has onion soup and filet. The restaurant was closed off to our group, but had around 20 tables with ocean views.
I went with the French onion soup and filet, which was outstanding.
They bring the sides out family style for everyone to sample and refill as needed.
Thoughts about Empress of the Seas
Wow, this ship is truly beautiful, on the inside and out. I could not believe how nice she was, with the décor all brand new.
The air conditioning works great all over the ship, yes it was hot this afternoon but it broke 100 today.
The Voom Internet seems to be working fine and the staff all seems very happy. Honestly, I cannot think of any reason I would not book Empress of the Seas for a future cruise.
If you are the type of person who enjoys the smaller ships, you will love the Empress of the Seas. Now the questions is, where is she headed in 90 days…
Tomorrow we are in Coco Cay. We have some fun adventures planned there!