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  1. Hello all! Hoping you enjoy this "live-blog" style recap of my first cruise. A little about myself and the trip: I was completely new to cruising before this trip. I knew it was something I wanted to do, and I knew that I would have time off in-between Christmas and the first Friday of the new year, so I decided it try it out. I tried to get a friend to come along, but ended up deciding to do a solo trip instead. I've done solo traveling in the past, so I was not worried about this aspect. Around the end of July, I worked with a family friend who is also a travel agent to find different c
  2. I wasn't sure I would live blog this trip but Empress is secret favorite of mine and she doesn't get much attention here in the live blogs. Empress is a small ship yet she doesn't feel small on board, as long as you pick the right cabin. In the wake of the abrupt Cuba changes fares have been very reasonable including Junior Suite rates. On a small ship the added space and balcony of a Junior Suite goes a long way to not feeling the size of the ship. The fact that cruising solo in a suite will net me triple Crown and Anchor points wasn't lost on me. That's a whopping 42 points for
  3. In the words as sung by Britney Spears... Oops, I Did it Again For those who are wondering what is he talking about? (or thinking I've enjoyed one too many happy hour drinks) I just finished 14 nights on this little beauty last week. You can read about that B2B experience here: https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/14213-empress-b2b-14-nights-on-the-biggest-little-ship-july-2019/ Those cruises were great but they were Western Caribbean and this 8 night cruise is Eastern Caribbean including a stop at Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Royal hasn'
  4. I would be interested in hearing people's opinion of Empress of the Seas. We are looking at the 7 Night Best of Bermuda cruise in an aft junior suite. I know the ship is older and smaller but are we going to be really disappointed or will the itinerary make up for it? We love Grandeur (and other ships in the fleet) so hoping it is somewhat similar to Grandeur. All we really care about is a casino, seeing some comedians, having good food and having a nice balcony. We have been enjoying twangster's blog and the ship seems nice and uncrowded (yeah) but would appreciate other's thoughts. A
  5. I was recently on Empress of the Seas and loved the four man band Extra! Does anyone know if they have any social media platforms for their band or for each member individually? I realized after leaving that I completely forgot to ask them.
  6. Anyone going on this cruise? I'm doing my first solo cruise and it would be nice to meet some people!
  7. Hello Everyone, So I'll be sailing in June for one of the Cuba cruises on the Empress and I wanted to see if anyone else has came back and has any advice or tips for when we get to the island. I'm very excited to know more about the shore excursions and hopefully we can get some reviews on those. If you've visited renectly, please let us know what you thought. We are planing the 4 hour walking tour so we can get some great photos hopefully. Sorry if this is a duplicate thread, I wasn't able to fine one similar. Thanks in advance!
  8. After the lovely Jerel helps me out next month by picking me up a Navigator model, I will only need Empress to complete my model fleet collection (with the exception of Monarch, but I'm constantly scouring eBay in case one of those comes up). Is anyone sailing on Empress anytime in the next couple of months? Can you please help me and pick up the ship model whilst onboard? I'm happy to send money beforehand if need be. Most people buy the model for me and then, once we know what postage to Australia would be, give me a total price. I can transfer funds via PayPal, which is totally secure.
  9. The Empress departs Miami on April 14 next year. The 15th is a cruise day and gets into Georgetown, Grand Cayman, on Sunday April 16th. That just happens to be Easter Sunday. All of the liquor will be closed as well as most of the shops in port. Right now there are only two excursions in GC offered if you have booked this trip. I know the stores will be closed because I called a couple of the shops and one liquor distributor. Not a lot to do in Georgetown except hike to a nearby beach! I doubt if taxis will be operating. Looks like someone in the RC planning department didn't do their homewor
  10. We are arriving for our cruise on August 15-20 and are cruising on Empress of the Seas. We are flying into Miami Itnl from the mid-west. This is the first cruise we have ever taken and would like any information on Miami Port, the boarding process, what documents are needed at the port, etc. Thanks in advance!
  11. My boyfriend and I are cruising on the Empress of the Seas from August 15-20. We are scheduled to land in Miami at 12:14pm, will this leave us enough time to get to port? We will be taking an Uber from Miami Intl to port -- transportation is not offered for this cruise. This is our first cruise, so any helpful insiders are greatly appreciated! We have read mixed reviews on the ship and are a little hesitant.
  12. Hi. First post on here. We have been on about 10 RC cruises, usually one a year since 2006. Last year was our first smaller ship/shorter itinerary (as our girl had just turned 3, we brought her along) on Majesty on a 4 night bahamas/key west itinerary. This year we have an end of May five night to Cozumel on Empress booked. Again, we are bringing our daughter since things went quite smooth last year and she seemed to enjoy it. Kinda taking a risk on an even smaller ship than we are used to but I'm sure it will still be enjoyable and we will have fun as always. Anyway....I have been
  13. I am sailing on the Empress on April 11 (5 days, Cozumel and Costa Maya). I am an obsessed researcher so I check the website numerous times throughout the day to see what rooms are still available and if prices are fluctuating, etc. So I have been keeping a very close eye on the status of my Empress sailing. Suddenly, earlier this week, the status for the first 4 cruises out of drydock (of which mine is one...the last of the 4, I believe) are showing a Sold Out status. I find this VERY hard to believe (for my sailing, at least) given the fact that, consistently there have been many,
  14. Does Empress of the Seas Have freestyle coke machines since it is freshly updated?
  15. Just thought I would let anyone know who is interested or has Empress of the Seas booked, that Chops has been released on cruise planner as available to book finally! Still no beverage packages, and shore excursions are still all screwed up, but hey it's a start haha! :P Cant wait for that bacon appetizer... Yummmmmm
  16. Hello All, I happen to be sailing out of the port of Miami for the first time coming up on April 7th-16th on the Empress. I have sailed out of Port Everglades many times but never from Miami. We are flying into Ft. Lauderdale of course still. Does anyone have any suggestions on the best places to stay the night before? Is it better to try and get some place down in Miami? Or stay in Ft. Lauderdale? Also, anyone have any preferences of transfer services from FLL and MIA. From the hotel down there and then back to the airport following the cruise. Any input would be greatly appreciate
  17. Wow ! I just called and booked a 5 day to Cozumel and Costa Maya in an aft Owner's Suite on the Empress for April 2016. They had special Crown & Anchor pricing which came out to 58% off. This beats the heck out of the Club Royale discount (usually 43%) that I usually get. The good news is that the C&A discounts are available to everyone [who is a C&A member] so everyone should be able to take advantage of a nice price. I'm D+ so not sure every C&A level will be the same % off but I suspect that the pricing is pretty nice for all C&A levels. When you can book
  18. Yesterday I read something about the huge C&A discounts being gone from the Empress bookings so this morning I checked. Yep. Gone. They are only showing the same BOGOHO + C&A OBC that the rest of the fleet is getting. BOY am I glad I booked last week. That very lucrative 62% discount is now a disappointing 25%...and the base price hasn't gone down, either. The Empress is very tempting at the deep discount but I probably wouldn't even consider her at the current price. Nice while it lasted and lucky I took advantage of it while it was in effect !
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